Govt proposes new law to regulate OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+Hotstar; details here
Indian government proposes a new bill to regulate broadcasting services, including OTT platforms, introducing content evaluation committees and penalties for violations, emphasizing a modernized regulatory framework.
The Indian government has introduced a new bill aimed at consolidating the regulatory framework for various broadcasting services, encompassing over-the-top (OTT) content platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney + Hotstar. Once passed, the bill will introduce content evaluation committees to regulate streaming giants. Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur announced the draft legislation, emphasizing its alignment with the Prime Minister's vision for 'Ease of Doing Business' and 'Ease of Living.' Thakur highlighted that the draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill is designed to modernize the regulatory framework in the broadcasting sector.
"Advancing the Honorable Prime Minister's vision for 'Ease of Doing Business' and 'Ease of Living,' we're proud to introduce the draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill. This pivotal legislation modernizes our broadcasting sector's regulatory framework, replacing outdated Acts, Rules, and Guidelines with a unified, future-focused approach," Thakur wrote on X.
Thakur highlighted that the proposed legislation aims to modernize the regulatory framework of the broadcasting sector, replacing obsolete acts, rules, and guidelines with a forward-looking approach. A pivotal aspect of the new law involves the creation of 'Content Evaluation Committees,' along with transforming the existing inter-departmental committee into a 'Broadcast Advisory Council,' as emphasized by Thakur.
A newly established Broadcast Advisory Council will advise the government on violations related to the advertisement code and program code. The council, led by a sectoral expert, will include distinguished individuals and bureaucrats, according to reports from PTI.
A draft document of the new legislation quoted by Reuters read, “Every broadcaster or broadcasting network operator must establish a Content Evaluation Committee (CEC) with members from various social groups."
The new legislation, with a specific emphasis on self-regulatory bodies, includes provisions empowering such entities to impose both monetary and non-monetary penalties on their members for violating norms and articles, according to PTI reports.
The bill outlines a range of penalties, encompassing warnings, monetary fines for operators or broadcasters, as well as advisory or censure. Furthermore, the legislation addresses severe offenses, incorporating provisions for imprisonment or fines.