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Delhi HC dismisses petition seeking licensing and regulation of OTT platforms

The Delhi HC has dismissed a petition filed by Justice for Rights Foundation, a Delhi based NGO, which asked for the regulation of online streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, reports The Indian Express. The HC said that online streaming platforms did not need to acquire a license to operate. The Centre said that it did not regulate this category of companies. Justice for Rights’ argument was that non-regulation was letting platforms stream content full of “vulgarity, religiously forbidden and morally unethical.” The plea also sought to remove “vulgar and sexually explicit” content from these platforms. Chief Justice Rajendra Menon dismissed the plea stating that this was not a public interest case. The PIL was filed in October 2018 and alleged that online streaming platforms also violated the Indian Penal code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act, and sought to remove “legally restricted” content with immediate effect. It asked for direction from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, and the Ministry of Telecom to frame guidelines to regulate the platforms and the content they broadcasted. Justice for Rights’ lawyer Harpreet Hora told Inc42 that its petition dealt with not just content but also licensing, regulation and certification of OTT platforms. “Our basic contention is that if somebody is doing business in my country, they should be licensed or regulated,” he told the publication. The NGO has also filed a police complaint. Sacred Games: MeitY for freedom of expression In December last year, the Ministry of Electronics, Information and Technology…

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I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

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