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India proposes censorship on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar and more online content

Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar will now be under the regulation of the Indian government like the rest of the cable TV. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting now has jurisdiction over online content providers and online news platforms. Until now, there was no regulation for the OTT content providers like the aforementioned three streaming services. However, the Information and Broadcasting minister previously said that this was required.

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Now, the online content providers and online news platforms sit alongside cable television, All India Radio, and Doordarshan as entities that fall under I&B’s regulatory framework. This comes after the I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar had hinted that the government could regulate online platforms. Two weeks ago, he said: “I have called them twice to talk about a credible self-regulation method, but they have not come up with a proposal.”

Apart from OTT platforms, this new order also covers all digital content sources, which includes online news sites, videos, and images being shared online.

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The President of India has now signed into law a new amendment [PDF] by the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961 on November 9. It adds the below mentioned two points to the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting:

VA. Digital / Online Media
22A. Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers.
22B. News and current affairs content on online platforms.

The content regulated bodies in India include the Press Council of India (governing newspapers), the News Broadcasters Association (monitoring news channels), the Advertising Standards Council of India, and the Central Board of Film Certification. The latest addition comes after the “V. Films” section in the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961 [PDF, page 98].

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