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IAMAI seeks public consultation on draft guidelines for OTT platforms

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KOLKATA: While the Centre has indicated multiple times in the last few weeks that it has prepared a draft for governing OTT services, the streaming platform members of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) have expressed dismay at the move.

The industry has been working collectively to formalise transparent and stringent guidelines for self-regulation, but has been completely perturbed by the lack of any consultation involving the stakeholders that usually precedes such guidelines or regulations, the IAMAI said.

The organisation is of the view that they have recently in consultation with the ministry of information & broadcasting (MIB) agreed to a universal self-regulatory code that has been adopted by 17 of the leading Online Curated Content Platforms (OCCPs) in India, and have committed to its speedy rollout through an ‘implementation toolkit’. The self-regulatory code, which is under implementation, effectively delivers on the goal of providing strong consumer protection, while delivering a solid foundation for content providers to build from.

Unfortunately, as things stand, as a responsible industry body and an ardent supporter of all government policies and regulations, IAMAI pointed out that it was not consulted on the draft guidelines for OCCPs that is being quoted in the media.

“Also, apart from the 17 OCC platforms that are signatories to IAMAI’s universal self-regulation code, there are producers, actors and other stakeholders who too should have been consulted before the guidelines are published. We firmly believe that regulations arrived at through wide stakeholder consultations are much more effective and more easily implementable,” the association  added.

In light of this, the IAMAI has appealed to the concerned ministry on behalf of its members to consider initiating a public dialogue by inviting comments on the draft guidelines for OTT streaming platforms, as was done in the case of Personal Data Protection Bill, Non-personal Data Governance Framework and numerous other rules and regulations.

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