This is a part of our series ‘Digital Ideas For Media In India‘ series
Earlier this year, we learnt that a standing committee on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill in India was seeking comments from the general public, on suggestions related to the bill. Only, they gave just 15 days (initially) for comments to be submitted. This bill is significant not just for businesses, but for all forms of communications, especially online. However, instead of communicating the importance of this bill to the public, almost all the media reporting was limited to disagreements between film producers and scriptwriters. We tried to do our bit – organized a seminar with support from the Center for Internet and Society – who were kind enough to answer a lot of questions- and Google India, asked our readers to submit their comments, and then published our own comments. But that really wasn’t enough.
Implementation aside, our Government seeks recourse to the laws and the constitution to defend their position. We need wider public participation in order to ensure that all viewpoints are adequately represented in law, or at least, represented to the government. The government follows a consultation process on amendment to laws, as does the Telecom regulator while finalizing recommendations; I find that industry representation often supercedes civil society representation. The problem, as per my naive belief, is that it’s more a case of people not knowing than people not caring. I think there’s a need for space for a wider discussion on policy and policymaking, at least for the people who care. PRS Legislative Research is doing its bit, but there needs to be an open forum, for an open discussion, because laws and amendments to laws impact all of us.
P.s.: If you have digital media ideas to give away – mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put them up. Why give the idea away?