wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

India’s Streaming Censorship: The Impact of the Broadcasting Services Bill, 2023

The Washington Post’s article chronicling Indian film-makers struggle on streaming platforms highlights the potential dangers of the new broadcasting services Bill.

The Washington Post recently published a detailed article that talked about a “culture of self-censorship” in the streaming industry in India over the last four years. The article on November 20, 2023 discussed how streaming platforms like Netflix and Prime dropped multiple proposed and on-going projects dealing with religion, caste, owing to political pressure. This includes documentaries that talked of political incidents like the Emergency period in India or a three-part adaptation of ‘Maximum City,’ an award-winning book by Suketu Mehta. However, apart from providing a historical account of the state of streaming in India, the article also acts as an excellent example why there are certain concerns around the Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2023.

A regulatory Bill for the digital times: The draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023 seeks to replace the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and thus bring streaming and broadcasting services like Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix, JioCinema, etc. under its purview. It also talks of establishing Content Evaluation Committees (CECs) that will certify which content complies with the new multi-layered regulatory system. There are 10 other concerns that MediaNama has listed in the context of this Bill, however with regards to censorship, let us focus on the certification requirements.

CECs will give legal sanction to government censorship: The platforms streaming content will be required to set-up the CECs, consisting of people from “different social groups,” within 180 days of the Bill coming into force. However, the criteria for this diversity, the minimum quorum required to create the committee and “other details” will be prescribed by the government. Considering that the Washington Post talked at length about the influence of the current ruling regime on OTT platforms, there are concerns that such CEC could end up censoring content further. Essentially the Bill could legally sanction to the government to axe content that it feels doesn’t give a “positive image of India and its culture” – activities that the government is already doing. For film-makers like Anurag Kashyap, who have spoken out against this form of censorship in the Washington Post, this provision in the Bill is a huge point of concern.

Also Read:


STAY ON TOP OF TECH NEWS: Our daily newsletter with the top story of the day from MediaNama, delivered to your inbox before 9 AM. Click here to sign up today!


 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

Free Reads

News

Vaishnaw's remarks come a day after Google removed apps belonging to Matrimony.com, Info Edge (Naukri and 99 Acres), Shaadi.com, Altt, Truly Madly, Stage, Quack...

News

Paytm has started distancing itself from PPBL in light of the current negative spotlight on PPBL.

News

The move can be seen as an attempt by Paytm to distance itself from the troubled Paytm Payments Bank, which has been significantly restricted...

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

NPCI CEO Dilip Asbe recently said that what is not written in regulations is a no-go for fintech entities. But following this advice could...

News

Notably, Indus Appstore will allow app developers to use third-party billing systems for in-app billing without having to pay any commission to Indus, a...

News

The existing commission-based model, which companies like Uber and Ola have used for a long time and still stick to, has received criticism from...

News

Factors like Indus not charging developers any commission for in-app payments and antitrust orders issued by India's competition regulator against Google could contribute to...

News

Is open-sourcing of AI, and the use cases that come with it, a good starting point to discuss the responsibility and liability of AI?...

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ