Currently, there is no law or autonomous body for governing digital media content or Over-the-top (OTT) platforms. The government has passed an order to bring online news portals and content providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime under the Information and Broadcasting ministry. Ram Nath Kovid has signed the order and it was issued on Monday.
As a result, digital media providers such as Hotstar, Netflix, and Amazon Prive Video will now be regulated by the Union ministry headed by Prakash Javadekar.
The Press Council of India looks after the print media, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) tracks news channels, the Advertising Standards Council of India is monitoring advertising while the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) takes care of films.
The Supreme Court had last month sought the Centre’s response on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for regulating OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video by an autonomous body. The PIL stated that digital content on these platforms is made available to the public at large without any filter or screening.
In September, the I&B ministry had told the Supreme Court that digital media needs to be regulated, citing that it has a “faster reach, potential to become viral due to apps like WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook.” Digital media also has a serious impact because of its reach, it had added.
Last year, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that the government will not take any step that may curb media freedom, adding there should be some kind of regulation on over-the-top platforms (OTT), as there is for the print and electronic media as well as films.