India to regulate streaming services, online content

Published November 12, 2020
In this 2016 file photo, commuters watch videos on their mobile phones as they travel in a train in Mumbai. — Reuters
In this 2016 file photo, commuters watch videos on their mobile phones as they travel in a train in Mumbai. — Reuters

India’s federal government will regulate content on video streaming platforms, including global services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Walt Disney’s Hotstar, as part of rules announced this week.

India’s ministry of information and broadcasting will oversee streaming video content, which was previously unregulated, a brief government circular said on Tuesday, without providing further details.

Earlier this year, more than a dozen local and global streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hotstar, had signed a code for self-regulation.

India’s internet and mobile lobby group, and Netflix declined to comment, while Amazon and Hotstar did not respond to requests for comment.

Filmmaker Vikram Malhotra said the industry will have to “wait and watch” how the government’s regulation of online content unfolds.

“My only concern is that rules that currently govern access to content as well as its creation and distribution on other platforms, cannot and should not be simply applied to the online medium,” said Malhotra, whose studio Abunduntia Entertainment produces films and shows, including for Amazon Prime Video.

Streaming services have gained traction in India because of the availability of affordable smartphones and cheap mobile data, making the South Asian nation a battleground for Amazon, Netflix and Disney as they seek to expand outside their home markets.

Opinion

Is it child abuse?
24 Sep 2021

Is it child abuse?

The SNC’s language mix doesn’t address our children’s emotional needs.
The gathering storm
Updated 24 Sep 2021

The gathering storm

The growing US-China rivalry has transformed the geopolitical scene, in particular the Asian strategic landscape.
New realities and challenges
Updated 23 Sep 2021

New realities and challenges

Will the Afghan Taliban entrust to the UN the responsibility of receiving and disbursing all aid?

Editorial

24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...
Dialogue, at last
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Dialogue, at last

The govt has attempted to make the ECP controversial at a time when its input is critical for the poll reforms
AUKUS controversy
Updated 23 Sep 2021

AUKUS controversy

Instead of flexing its military muscle, the Western bloc needs to engage China at the negotiating table.
Provocative act
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Provocative act

Afghan Taliban flags have been found hoisted at Jamia Hafsa seminary three times since Aug 21.