OTT Regulation: The Supreme Court suspends proceedings in higher courts

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended all proceedings pending before various high courts across the country for the regulation and operation of Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and others. From the government.

A court hearing, chaired by Judge D.J. Chandrachud, halted further pending cases before various high courts and said it would consider pending petitions on a similar issue in the second week of April.

Judge Mr. Shah, who also includes the courtroom, said that there are many high courts where these cases are pending and proceedings in all these cases may remain.

The Court of Appeal heard a batch of public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Shashank Shekhar Jha, who appears at the Justice for Rights Foundation to regulate OTT platforms by an autonomous body.

The petitions seek appropriate advice, an institution and an association for monitoring and managing the content of various OTT, streaming and digital media platforms.

The central government has also filed a transfer petition requesting the transfer of pending cases to various higher courts to regulate OTT platforms. The Supreme Court had previously issued a notice of the Center’s application and noted it with other petitions.

Also, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in a written statement submitted to the appellate court, assured him that the rigorous verification of the content of OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon prime as there are new provisions.

It states that the new rules for information technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and the code of ethics for digital media) from 2021 have been notified to address the problem.

Earlier, the court had asked the Center to notify him on what the government is proposing to do to regulate OTT platforms, and asked him to submit an affidavit on what he plans to do after the government said it was working on the issue.

One of the petitions, filed by lawyer Jha, says that there is currently no law or autonomous body to manage, monitor and administer such digital content and that it is made available to the public as a whole without any filter or screening.

PIL stated that none of the OTT / streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sea5, and Hotstar have signed the self-regulation provided by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in February 2020.

There are more than 40 such platforms that provide paid, including advertising and free content for approximately 130 kroner across India, the petitioners said.

The petitions say they aim to protect the constitutional right to life by preventing these platforms from abusing their freedom of expression.

The request calls for the establishment of a board headed by an IAS official at the secretary level, with members from various fields, including cinema, cinema, media, defense, law and education.

The application states: “As cinemas are unlikely to open in the country any time soon, OTT / Streaming and various digital media platforms have certainly given directors and artists a chance to release their content without worrying about obtaining permission certificates for their films and a series from the board of censorship. “

In a separate case, the Center told the Apex Court earlier that it was necessary to regulate digital media and that the court could first appoint a commission of individuals such as Amicus before setting guidelines for regulating hate speech in the media.

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