Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

SC Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Formulation Of Autonomous Body To Regulate OTT Platforms Like Netflix And Amazon Prime

Radhika Roy
15 Oct 2020 12:43 PM GMT
SC Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Formulation Of  Autonomous Body To Regulate OTT Platforms Like Netflix And Amazon Prime
x

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Internet and Mobile Association of India in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking for regulation OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime by an autonomous body.A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde issued notice and sought the Centre's response in the...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Internet and Mobile Association of India in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking for regulation OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime by an autonomous body.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde issued notice and sought the Centre's response in the matter.

The plea, filed by Advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurv Arhatia, seeks for directions for the "establishment of a proper board/institution/association for the monitoring and management of content on different OTT/Streaming and digital media platform".

It is submitted that as cinemas/theatres are unlikely to open anytime soon, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have allowed filmmakers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates from the Central Board of Film Certification.

Therefore, in the absence of any law or autonomous body governing digital content, content is being made available to the public at large without any filter or screening. Further, despite the Ministry's reminders to OTT/Streaming platforms, they have failed to finalize a self-regulatory code – "That almost none of the OTT/Streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar have signed the self-regulation provided by Respondent No.2 since February 2020".

The plea further states that the lack of a governing legislation is becoming evident with each passing day as a new case is being filed on these grounds.

"The government is facing heat to fill this lacuna with regulations from the public and the Judiciary; still the relevant government departments have not done anything significant to regularize these OTT/Streaming Platforms".

The plea also raises the issue that consumption of content on these platforms has increased during the pandemic and lack of censoring allows "exploitation of creative liberty" which entails pushing the boundaries on portraying violation of social mores, such violence, sex scenes and obscene languages – at times without any warning. 

It is submitted that as the number of internet users in rural areas has crossed that of urban areas, such content should be monitored to "keep the value system intact".

"That Hotstar is airing foreign series like Game of Thrones, Amazon airing movies like The Wolf of Wall Street, Netflix airing movies like 365 Days etc. in India which are having various scenes inappropriate for the households including nudity, sexy, drugs, smoke, crime etc".

The plea also states that Indian series and movies like Mirzapur, Paatal Lok, Sacred Games and Koffee with Karan are also full of inappropriate content for common households and is not subjected to any moderation by any government, which in turn is harmful for society at large.

In light of the above, the petition seeks for the constitution of an autonomous body/board – "Central Board for Regulation and Monitoring of Online Video Contents" to monitor and filter the contents and regulate the videos on various platforms for viewers in India. It also prays for the Board to be headed by an IAS officer of Secretary level and to have members from varied fields
[Read Petition]


Next Story
Share it