In what could be termed as good news for OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, the Indian government in a response to the Delhi High court said that they are not required to obtain licences to run their programmes.
The content on these platforms is not regulated by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It needs framing of new regulation, the govt told a two-judge bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao.
Both the judges had in October last year asked the govt if there are any guidelines or licensing policies for regulation of content available on these platforms.
Delhi High Court dismisses a plea seeking a ban on online platforms including Netflix and Amazon Prime till the regulations are framed. The petition claimed that the content on such platforms is inappropriate, sexually explicit, religiously forbidden and legally restricted. pic.twitter.com/dF3PetQK29
— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2019
The development followed after a PIL by an NGO, Justice for Rights Foundation, which sought immediate court orders to remove vulgar and sexually explicit content available on these platforms. It further said that most of the content available was in violation of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.
However, the court has dismissed the plea on the ground that there was no public interest involved and no framework are in place.
In January, almost all the existing OTT players including Hotstar, Reliance Jio, Voot, ALTBalaji, Zee5, Eros Now and SonyLIV signed self regulatory code to practice restraint from showing content -banned by Indian courts, disrespects the national emblem and flag, outrages religious sentiments, promotes terrorism or violence against State and shows children in sexual acts.