Limited Regulations, Unlimited Possibilities

admin   February 9, 2021

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


ACE Acts Against Piracy

admin   February 9, 2021

At a time when people are home streaming movies and TV shows during the global Coronavirus pandemic, Belinda Lui, President & Managing Director Asia Pacific, Motion Picture Association, emphasized the importance of Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the global coalition to reduce piracy and protect the legal marketplace for creative content.

“We’re proud of the program MPA continues to make in combating online piracy under the banner of the ACE,” said Lui addressing industry leaders at the 5th edition of Fast Track Digital, as part of the FICCI Knowledge Series. “MPA along with the ACE will continue to protect the copyright that protects all work through every form of distribution channel.”

“In just over three years ACE has grown to include 35 leading global media and entertainment  companies with Apple TV plus, becoming ACE’s newest member. ACE remains proactive in addressing online piracy by disrupting and disabling access to the most egregious online websites. The research also shows that site blocking leads to increasing uptake of legitimate services,” said Lui.

She cited the recent closure of Tamilrockers, which traded off the theft of intellectual property (IP) as testament to the efforts of rights holders, in protecting the rights of all creators. “There is a strong will to support legitimate business and create the best possible playing field,” Lui stated.

Lui said that the entertainment industry is encouraged by spirit, ingenuity, and community displayed by those in the digital sector worldwide. “One sector that has led the charge in innovating to deliver the best possible experience for audiences is the Video On Demand (VoD) industry,” said Lui. “The incredibly dynamic nature of the Indian VoD industry led by highly talented professionals has helped deliver a very high standard of storytelling.

Over 40 Indian OTT services are vying for the audience’s attention for both the subscription and advertising models. The number of factors that contribute to positioning India as one of the fastest VoD markets in the world include the enthusiasm of fans who love their content, the range of viewing options available to the audience and the broadband connectivity.