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OTT Platforms like Prime and Netflix should be regulated:Supreme Court tells the government

Supreme Court suggested a screening mechanism for online video streaming services on Thursday.The most popular streaming services in the country are Amazon and Netflix and which currently are aired without restrictions. The US based streaming platforms have faced many complaints from lawmakers, public groups and some indviduals some of the shows promote obscenity or offend religious beliefs. “We are of the view there should be some screening of these types (of content). What they are showing? They are showing pornography also,” Supreme Court Justice Ashok Bhushan said.Traditional film viewing in India, home to the thriving Bollywood industry, has changed as fewer people go to cinema halls and Web series have become common, Bhushan also added.

Earlier,the government directed that OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Zee5 need to self-classify content into five age-based categories – U (Universal), U/A 7+ (years), U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult).The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 issued a guideline for the first time on how digital news organisations, social media platforms and OTT streaming services would be regulated by the government

The Supreme Court was considering the appeal of Amazon Prime’s India head of original content Aparna Purohit, against the Allahabad High Court verdict that denied anticipatory bail to her in an ongoing investigation against the web series ‘Tandav’.Tandav stars top Bollywood actors Saif Ali Khan ,Dimple Kapadia and a host of TV celebrities but has been battling police and court cases which allege the show offended religious beliefs.

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The court will continue hearing the case on Friday. Justice Bhushan has asked the government and the platform to submit details of any regulations that currently govern online video platforms.The government on last month had announced fresh rules to regulate digital content and establish a Code of Ethics and a three-tier grievance redressal framework for news websites and OTT platforms.Amazon had earlier issued a rare public apology for Tandav saying some scenes that were found offensive had been edited or removed.Social media biggies would also be required to appoint India-based compliance officers.When they remove content, they will be required to inform users, give reasons for taking down their post and hear them out.

 

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