Online streaming players Netflix and Amazon prime faces censorship by the government. The government`s step have been rooted in various court cases and complaints filed with police in recent months. The current laws does not allow censorship of content on popular online streaming platforms. Netflix and Amazon prime faces censorship
These concerns have already prompted Netflix and Hotstar to sign a self-regulation code in January this year. However Amazon Prime did not sign up saying that current laws are adequate.
Netflix’s first Indian origin series ‘Sacred Games’ faced a court challenge last year over offensive content and scenes and some derogatory comments over former Indian Primer Minister. There was another police complaint accusing Netflix of of trying to defame Hindus.
All these and various other complaints have prompted government to initiate talks among India`s Information & Broadcasting department and IT ministries to formulate a acceptable framework for such content providers.
Apart from any plan to formulate a framework, there are other options which the govt is trying to explore. These include a self-regulation code without governments interference or a government monitored code which will require the platforms to acquire an approval for the content in advance.
“With regulation, all of the (global) content will need to be sanitised for India – a huge, expensive and time-consuming exercise,” said Prasanto Roy, a New Delhi technology policy analyst who advises global tech companies.
With Netflix and Amazon already producing more original and local content in a race to win more viewers in India, it becomes more important for government to have some control over the quality of content.