News content of digital publishers on OTT outside regulatory responsibility of OTT: MIB
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has taken cognizance of the apprehension has been raised relating to perceived reluctance of OTT platforms in hosting news feed of digital news publishers on their platform on the pretext that the content contained therein would be the regulatory responsibility of the hosting OTT platform under the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
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MIB noted that the digital platforms while hosting news feed on OTT platforms are being burdened to adhere and comply with the self-regulatory/oversight mechanism, which are resulting in discouraging these platforms from hosting digital news feed of the TV news broadcasters.
“Further, the OTT platforms believe that by hosting the news feed of the TV news broadcasters on their platforms, they may be made liable for the content carried under the Digital Media Rules, 2021. Hence, there is a threat to the news feed from being removed from the OTT platforms,” the Ministry noted.
Keeping these apprehensions in mind, the MIB has issued its clarifications. First and foremost, “online curated content” is defined under clause (q) of rule 2 of the Digital Media Rules, 2021 which specifically excludes “news and current affairs content”. When any news and current affairs content of a digital news publisher is transmitted on an OTT platform, such content would be outside the regulatory responsibility of that platform. However, if any OTT platform receives a grievance related to such news and current affairs content, it may transfer the same to the concerned publisher of that content.
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“Accordingly, there should not be any apprehension on this count either to the digital news publishers or to the OTT platforms,” MIB said.