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Govt. to govern OTT platforms

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Govt. to govern OTT platforms:


Context:

The government has brought “Over the Top” (OTT) platforms or video streaming service providers under the ambit of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

As per the Gazette Notification:

  • Online films, digital news and current affairs content now come under the purview of the I&B Ministry, headed by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
  • This will give the government control over the OTT platforms, which were unregulated till now.

How was this sector regulated so far?

Currently, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content.

But, from time to time, the government had indicated the necessity to monitor these platforms.

  • In October last year, the government had indicated that it would issue a “negative” list of don’ts for video streaming services like Netflix and Hotstar.
  • It also wanted the platforms to come up with a self-regulatory body on the lines of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Self-regulatory code:

In January 2019, eight video streaming services had signed a self-regulatory code that laid down a set of guiding principles for the content on these platforms.

  • The code adopted by the OTTs in January last prohibited five types of content, including content which deliberately and maliciously disrespects the national emblem or flag and any visuals or story lines that promotes child pornography

WHAT IS OTT?

  • An “over-the-top” media service is any online content provider that offers streaming media as a standalone product.
  • The term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, but also refers to audio streaming, messaging services, or internet-based voice calling solutions.
  • OTT services circumvent traditional media distribution channels such as telecommunications networks or cable television providers.
  • As long as you have access to an internet connection — either locally or through a mobile network — you can access the complete service at your leisure.

Why they are gaining popularity?

  • High-value content at low cost.
  • Original content like Netflix and Amazon prime.
  • Compatibility with multiple devices.

Sources: the Hindu.