India To Regulate OTTs With New Laws Including Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar
India is on the brink of a major change in how online streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+ Hotstar operate. A new law, still in the draft stage, is set to reshape the broadcasting landscape, focusing on modernizing the way these services are regulated.
At the heart of this change is the new Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill. The idea is to replace old rules and guidelines with something more suited to today’s digital age, which will impact OTT platforms.
This move is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision for making business and living easier in India. Anurag Thakur, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, shared details about this bill, highlighting its future-focused approach.
The bill’s main feature is the formation of Content Evaluation Committees. These committees will have members from different social backgrounds, ensuring a diverse representation. They are tasked with assessing the content that streaming services offer, making sure it aligns with the set norms and guidelines.
Another significant part of the bill is the creation of the Broadcast Advisory Council. This council will have a sector expert at its helm, along with notable personalities and bureaucrats.
Their role will be to advise the government on any violations related to the advertisement and program codes. Essentially, they’re the monitoring bodies ensuring that content and advertisements on these platforms are in line with established standards.
As for penalties, the new legislation is pretty strict. It includes warnings, monetary fines for broadcasters or operators, and advisories or censures. For more serious offenses, it even talks about imprisonment or hefty fines. This approach shows a clear intent to keep a tight check on content standards.
The overall focus of this new legislation is on self-regulation. Streaming services will have more responsibility to monitor and regulate their content. The idea is to empower these platforms to take charge while also setting up a framework that holds them accountable for any deviations.
This new bill, if passed, will mark a significant shift in how OTT platforms are regulated in India. It aims to strike a balance between modernizing the sector and ensuring content is appropriate and adheres to the country’s norms. It’s a step towards a more organized and responsible digital content landscape in India.