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Govt calls for wide consultations on regulation of OTT content

“The issue of online and digital content is a real challenge,” said Bombay High Court Judge, Justice Gautam Patel. Calling for a closer interaction of all stakeholders, including the online content service provider sector, he stated that this would lead to the evolution of a structured, common, discernible and standardised system of self-regulation. 

Justice Patel was speaking at the valedictory session of the two-day seminar on Film Certification and Regulation of Online content in Mumbai, organised by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, in collaboration with Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT). More than 100 stakeholders from the Media & Entertainment sector participated in the seminar held at Films Division, Mumbai. 

Addressing the gathering, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Amit Khare, said that the Ministry is encouraging the widest possible consultations among all stakeholders, on regulation of online content. He stated that norms, self-regulation or any other system of regulations on Online Curated Content that is devised, should be implementable, widely acceptable and easily enforceable. 

Chairman, Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), Retired Chief Justice, Manmohan Sarin, added here that how to bring about self regulation is a task which industry players have to sort out for themselves. The Chairman said that the certifying authorities should focus on the certification guidelines, without getting carried away by their personal biases, views and prejudices. 

Participating in the seminar, several delegates asked whether technology can be a distinguishable criterion in determining the ambit and nature of regulation. They also raised the technical feasibility of regulating the humongous amount of online curated content and the framework which may be adopted to enforce the same.

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