India’s new rules for OTT platforms could lead an increase in content-related disputes
- The Indian government’s new IT rules for over-the-top (OTT) platforms ask for a three-tier grievance system and content classification.
- While this may create a forum where users can air their complaints, it could also result in an uptake of content related disputes in India.
- The likes of
Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime Videoand others will have to steer around India’s diverse sensibilities, cultures and beliefs.
Significant compliances have been introduced for OTT platforms such as certification of films and web-series, and parental locks. A 3-tier grievance redressal mechanism has been prescribed for OTT platforms as well as news portals. This might eventually lead to a substantial increase in content related disputes in India.
The three levels of addressing complaints
OTT platforms and news portals will have to formulate a robust three-tier grievance redressal mechanism.
AdvertisementThe rules provide for two levels of self regulation. First, self-regulation by the platform through a grievance redressal officer and, second, by an institutional self-regulatory body comprising industry experts and headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge or other independent eminent personality in the relevant field.
This is followed by the third level of oversight through an interdepartmental committee constituted by the government. This committee will hear appeals arising out of decisions taken at level two, and if a complaint is referred to the committee by the Ministry of Information and Broadcast (MIB).
The maze of India's many moods
While an institutional self-regulation mechanism may enable citizens to have their concerns heard through a formal process within definite time frames; the oversight mechanism by the government certainly tightens the government’s grip on the overall operations of OTT platforms.
A big challenge for OTT platforms, while dealing with complaints, will be to steer around diverse sensibilities, cultures and beliefs of the Indian audience and their demands for different genres of content.
It is also essential to not overlook the fact that content curation of OTT players offer ‘video-on-demand’ services, and curate content based on demands of viewers, often analysed basis viewership data and trends.
While a certain type of content is perceived as offensive by a certain section of public, it is popular amongst another. It is unclear as to how OTT platforms are expected to practically redress grievances from different users.
OTT platforms are required to classify all films, web- series or other shows, based on:
- age of viewers
themes and messages
- violence, nudity, sex, language, substance abuse, horror, content, tone and impact
- implement parental controls
*Tanu Banerjee is a partner, Ishan Johri is a senior associate and Garima Kedia is an associate at law firm Khaitan & Co. Views expressed here are personal.
Whatsapp, Signal and Telegram face a catch-22 situation as India’s new social media rules threaten encryption
Facebook and Twitter have a ton of new rules to abide by in India — WhatsApp may find itself in the toughest spot of all
Indian government assumes the right to block digital news content along with a new set of regulations
Popular on BI
- Realme GT Neo 2 5G review: Great performance, fine display but camera needs work
- Cisco says a company 'leader' who encouraged TikTok followers to report strippers to the IRS is no longer employed at the company
- A half-mile installation just took 20,000 pounds of plastic out of the Pacific - proof that ocean garbage can be cleaned
- G7 leaders favour CBDCs provided they ‘support and do no harm’ to central banks
- India's farmers protest takes a gruesome turn with a chilling murder at the scene — here’s the sequence of events
- Bizarre! Shubhman Gill was brought back to bat after being declared out
- Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis — amazing data on how the two openers led CSK to IPL 2021 championship
- Budget and safety top criteria for Chennai households during festive season:LocalCircles