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Streaming services welcome government’s OTT regulations: Javadekar

Streaming services have “welcomed” the Intermediary Rules that require them to submit to a three-tier complaints redressal mechanism, Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said on Twitter. Streaming services have uniformly refused or ignored requests for comment on their reaction to the Rules; if Javadekar’s characterization of the meeting is accurate, it essentially means that streaming services have largely agreed to comply with the Intermediary Rules. Read a summary of the implications of the Rules to OTT streaming platforms here.

We have reached out to the Internet and Mobile Association of India, which is liaising with the government on the issue, and the I&B Ministry for comment on more details on what was discussed in the meeting.

The streaming industry will now have a few weeks to set up a self-regulatory body in accordance with the Rules, on top of the complaint mechanism they have already set up internally. The government will also create an inter-departmental committee to hear third-level appeals to complaints from offended viewers. On top of mislabelled age ratings or synopses, the complaint mechanism will allow quasi-judicial tribunals to make determinations on whether content violates Indian law, and refer it to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for censorship orders. The I&B Ministry would also have emergency powers under the IT Act that would let it act when it believes public order is being disrupted, a power that was until recently only with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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