Online streaming platforms in India, including Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime, etc. have signed up to a self-regulation code for content streamed on these over-the-top (OTT) platforms in order to avoid the need for a regulatory oversight on their platforms.
The signatories include Zee5, Viacom 18, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, MX Player, Jio Cinema, Eros Now, Alt Balaji, Arre, HoiChoi, Hungama, Shemaroo, Discovery Plus, Flickstree.
The Universal Self-Regulation Code for OCCPs has been introduced by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Streaming services wish to prevent regulators from censoring their content and have opted to monitor their own content to ensure their artistic freedom.
The code will incorporate elements like content descriptions, age labels accompanying content as well as a tool to identify and report any violations. Streaming services will also set up complaint departments, internal committees or both to tackle any issues.
"To give consumers more choice and control, the Universal Self-Regulation Code includes a framework for age classification and content descriptions for titles as well as access control tools. The Code also introduces a clear, transparent and structured grievance redressal and escalation mechanism for reporting non-compliance with the prescribed guidelines," the new guidelines adopted by video streaming platforms read.
This code is retrospectively applicable from August 15.
As of now, the Indian government has not actively censored content on streaming platforms and has permitted services to self-regulate with age labels and content descriptions.
Earlier this year, Netflix upgraded the control options to allow parents to filter out content based on age ratings for every country and also PIN-protect individual viewing profiles.
Amazon Prime Video also rolled out the profiles feature across its apps on all platforms for efficient management of content for children.