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SC issues notice to centre seeking its response on a PIL to regulate OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.


SC issues notice to centre seeking its response on a PIL to regulate OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.

What is the decision of the Supreme Court of India?

• On 15th October 2020, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde of the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking for regulation over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime by an autonomous body.

• The apex court sought the Centre's response in this matter by issuing the said notice.

Why was the PIL filed? (SLIDE 3, heading on top, and picture below)

• The PIL was filed by Advocates ShashankShekharJha and ApurvArhatia seeking for directions for the establishment of a proper autonomous board/institution/association – "Central Board for Regulation and Monitoring of Online Video Contents" to monitor and filter the contents and regulate and manage the videos on different OTT/Streaming and digital media platform for viewers in India.

• The petition also prays for the Board to be headed by an IAS officer of Secretary level and to have members from varied fields.

Why is this petition important?

• “With cinemas theatres unlikely to open anytime soon in the country, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have surely given a way out for film makers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board,” the plea said.

• “The government is facing heat to fill this lacuna with regulations from the public and the Judiciary; still the relevant government departments have not done anything significant to regularise these OTT/Streaming Platforms,” the plea said.

• None of the OTT/Streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar have signed the self-regulation provided by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since February 2020, it said.

• The ministry had earlier admitted in a separate case before the apex court that there is a need to regulate digital media and that the court may first appoint a committee of persons as amicus before laying down guidelines for the regulation of hate speech in the media.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS DECISION? MENTION YOUR VIEWS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

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