Are We Heading Towards Censorship of OTT Digital Media in India?

U/A: Ministerial guidance required for OTT!

The government has been looking for ways to regulate OTT. And as a last-ditch effort, these platforms have come together to develop a self-regulating code of conduct. In a sense, this began when the Ministry of I&B brought all digital content under its regulatory purview back in November.

The offence on sentiments inflicted by Taandav, AK vs AK and others only accelerated the discussion on censorship. 17 platforms came up with a Code of Conduct that addresses both grievances and accommodates a complaint redressal structure. But the government isn’t all that happy. The worry is that the code is not enough and it will serve the institution it is meant to regulate.

It is likely that the government will follow a mechanism similar to the Cable TV Network Rules, 1994. OTT platforms may not like this if it ends up restricting artistic freedom and expression. OTT consumption grew 13% YoY. And with rising subscriptions, the debate on censorship gets trickier.

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