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PIL in Karnataka HC seeks to regulate streaming platforms under Cinematograph Act

The Karnataka High Court has issued notice in a petition seeking that video streaming platforms Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, YouTube and AltBalaji, be brought under the Cinematograph Act and obtain certificates from the Censor Board before streaming content. The petition, available on and reported by Bar and Bench, was filed by Padmanabh Shankar.  The petition prays for:  Broadcasting content via internet on Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar be brought under the Cinematograph Act  Direction that the Union government frame a law "to set up a suitable board or Authority" to regulate/sanction the broadcast of content via the internet Until the government frames suitable laws, the Censor Board should certify all films, cinema, serials, and other multimedia content on streaming platforms Direction that the video streaming platforms (named in the PIL) obtain certificates from the Censor Board before broadcasting/transmitting content The petition argues that watching films, serials, and other multimedia content via internet "within four walls of a house/office would amount to public exhibition" under the Cinematograph Act  The petition argues Lack of regulation for online video content: The petitioner notes the absence of a statutory framework to regulate content broadcast by internet streaming platforms. The petition specifies the TV show Game of Thrones and movie 50 Shades of Grey as being unregulated, and justifying the petition. Intermediary liability and platforms: The petition notes that video streaming platforms make film, TV, and other multimedia content available online without "any restriction per se". It points out that platforms, being intermediaries, are exempted from liability under…

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