Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Prime Video will now be regulated by the Government. The Government has issued an order to bring online news platforms and content providers under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. At present, there is no government body that regulated the content of digital media platforms.
President of India Ram Nath Kovind signed into law a new amendment to the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961 on November 9 and the changes come into effect immediately.
OTT platforms include news portals and also streaming services such as Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which are accessible over the internet.
After the move, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotsar will now be regulated by the Union ministry headed by Prakash Javadekar. The Press Council of India (PCI) regulates print media while the News broadcasters Association regulates (NBA) TV channels.
Last month, the Supreme Court sought the centre’s response on a petition for regulating OTT platforms by an autonomous body. As per PIL, digital content on these platforms is made available to the public at large without any filter or screening. The Supreme Court issued notices to the central government, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) and Internet and Mobile Association of India(IAMAI).
“With cinemas theatres unlikely to open anytime soon in the country, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have surely given a way out for filmmakers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board,” the plea stated.
Last year, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that the government will not take any step that may curb media freedom, adding there should be some kind of regulation on over-the-top platforms (OTT), as there is for the print and electronic media as well as films.