Now that the OTT services and digital news aggregators have been brought under the ambit of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, streaming executives are hoping that the new regulatory guidelines may not lead to censorship of creative expression.
Content creators and OTT platform leaders deliberated on ‘Digital content regulation: Learning from best global practices’ at FICCI’s Knowledge Series Fast Track Digital.
Tarun Katial, Chief Executive Officer, ZEE5 India, said the government has always encouraged the industry to come up with a self-regulation code and supportive of content diversity. “Unlike other places, there has been no show that the government has ever said should be pulled out unless it was issues of pornography,” said Katial.
Ajay Chacko, Co-Founder & CEO, Arré, did not favour any regulation. “My simple point is that if you’ve seen industry grow with less regulation, relative self declaration, or offering informed choices to people, maybe it’s time to liberalize cinema, TV, print, and radio,” opined Chacko.
Karan Bedi, CEO, MX Player said the right way forward would be to create a framework of standard practices that would be common to all platforms and settle on a denominator acceptable to all. “I think it’s only a matter of time where we come up with a set of standards that are acceptable to all.”
Gourav Rakshit, Chief Operating Officer, VOOT favoured self-regulation. “We have robust laws of the land to protect against content that’s inflammatory. The ability to be able to narrowcast to an audience and provide age-gating capability is what will take our existing framework forward. We are optimistic to work with the government on this self regulation process,” said Rakshit.
Sanjeev Lamba, Executive Producer, Hungama Originals, pointed out that having an informed audience, free to make their own choices, was as important as establishing clear and consistent guidelines in self-regulation.
Vivan Sharan, Partner – Koan Advisory Group, said self regulation is step in right direction. “I would sit down and actually create a list on what I think is a reasonable standard,” he said.
We have robust laws of the land to protect against content that’s inflammatory. The right way forward would be to create a framework of standard OTT practices
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