New IT Rules for OTT platforms in 2021: Indian Government has made some strict rules to mandate content of OTT platforms into five age-based categories — U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult), and implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher, and reliable age verification mechanisms for content classified as “A”. The OTT platforms will be required to follow all these basic laws to watch the content Online. They will also have to set up the same three-tier grievance redressal mechanism as the digital media platforms.
The Digital Platforms that are currently operating in India will have to inform the I&B Ministry about the details of their entity, and also publish periodic compliance reports every month mentioning the details of grievances received and action taken, the rules stated. The new rules will apply to OTT platforms like Alt Balaji, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Jio, Zee5, Viacom18, Shemaroo, MxPlayer, and several others.
The Govt has informed the Supreme Court that the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 have been put in place as an institutional mechanism for adherence to Digital Media Ethics Code by the OTT platforms.
Also, digital news publishers have to follow the New IT rules. Addressing the participants, Shri Javadekar informed that the new rules placed certain responsibilities on digital news publishers. These include adherence to the Code of Ethics such as the norms of journalistic conduct framed by the Press Council of India and the Programme Code under the Cable Television Network Act.
He stated that print media and TV channels have digital versions whose content is almost the same as that on the traditional platforms. However, there are contents that appear exclusively on the digital platform. This apart there are several entities that are only on the digital platform. Accordingly, the rules seek to cover the news on Digital Media so as to bring them at par with the traditional media.
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