The Internet and Mobile Association of India announced on Thursday that its self-regulatory body for streaming content companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will be chaired by former Supreme Court judge Arjan Kumar Sikri. The Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC), the body whose Grievance Redressal Board (GRB) Sikri will be chairing, has been constituted in compliance with the recently notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. It will hear appeals of complaints against individual streaming services who are members of the body; if someone wants to complain against content on any of the 14 DPCGC members, and that complaint is disposed of unsatisfactorily by the service in question, DPCGC will hear an appeal.
Other members of DPCGC GRB appointed: The Grievance Redressal Board includes actress Suhasini Maniratnam; film producer Madhu Bhojwani; Gopal Jain, Supreme Court advocate; and Dr Ranjana Kumari, Director of the Centre for Social Research and Chairperson of Women Power Connect, will be the Civil Society Representative. The two members from the Online Curated Content Providers are Amit Grover, Senior Corporate Counsel, Amazon India, and Priyanka Chaudhari, Director–Legal, Netflix India.
Apple has joined the DPCGC too, presumably for its Apple TV+ subscription service. The other members are Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, ALT Balaji, BookMyShow Stream, Eros Now, Firework TV, Hoichoi, Hungama, Lionsgate Play, MX Player, Reeldrama, Shemaroo and Ullu. Ullu appears to be the first adult content streamer that has joined a self-regulatory body.
“The GRB will oversee and ensure the alignment and adherence to the Code of Ethics by the DPCG Council members, provide guidance to member entities on the Code of Ethics and address grievances that have not been resolved by the publisher within the stipulated period,” IAMAI said in a press release.
Streaming services splinter to two regulatory bodies
Some OTT services who were previously under the IAMAI’s aegis have decided to join a different self-regulatory body under the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, which has so far been an SRB for TV broadcasters. IBF said in a press release that it would be renamed as the Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) to welcome the new players. Disney+ Hotstar, ZEE5, Sony LIV and Jio will likely be members of this body, Exchange4media reported. IBF Secretary Radhakrishnan Nair told MediaNama that 11 streaming services have agreed to join the body in principle, and that a formal announcement on who these players are would be released shortly.
Streaming services under the IAMAI’s SRB sent a letter in April to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting expressing concerns on the code, including inadequate timelines for compliance with requirements like age-gating, the prescription of a charter coming directly from the government, and parallel criminal action through police complaints undermining the purpose of the body.