Self-regulatory toolkit by OTTs for implementation of Self Regulation Codes, 2020

What is the News?

17 Over-the-Top (OTT) Platforms have adopted a “toolkit” for effective implementation of the self-regulation code of 2020. The toolkit will be effective from February 10, 2021.

What are OTT platforms?

  • It is a streaming media service offered directly to viewers via the Internet. Examples include Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, Hotstar, and others. Currently, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content.

Universal Self Regulation Codes, 2020

In 2020, OTT platforms signed a universal ‘self-regulation’ code under the Internet and Mobile Association of India(IAMAI). The key features of the code are:

  • Regulatory environment: Information Technology Act, 2000 is the primary governing statute for online content.
  • Age classification: The code includes a framework for age classification and content descriptions for titles as well as access control tools.
  • Consumer Complaints:: Each OTT platform will have to set up a Consumer Complaints Department. Other than that an advisory panel to deal with complaints, appeals, and escalations will also be set up.

Government’s Response to the Code:

  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had refused to support the self-regulatory code. The grounds for rejection were that it lacks independent third-party monitoring, does not have a well-defined Code of Ethics, does not clearly enunciate prohibited content. Moreover, there is an issue of conflict of interest in grievance redressal.

Implementation Toolkit:

  • Purpose: Toolkit will help in the implementation of the code 2020 of the OTT platforms. It will also address the feedback received from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on the issues of conflict of interest and prohibited content.
  • Implementation of the Code: It will also frame the code of ethics and guiding principles for the signatory OTTs.
  • Guidance: Further, The toolkit will guide OTTs on various dimensions like:
    • Grievance redressal mechanism
    • Relevant laws of the land,
    • Awareness programs for consumers
    • Training programs for creative and legal teams
    • Implementation of a detailed audit and compliance mechanism.
  • Secretariat: A ‘secretariat’ will be set up for monitoring the implementation of the code. It would have representatives from the OTT platforms and IAMAI.

Source: The Hindu


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