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"No case has gone to Tier-III for Code violation under IT Rules 2021"

The tiered mechanism for addressing grievances regarding violations of the Digital Media Code of Ethics as set forth by the IT Rules 2021, has been successfully implemented by publishers of online curated content and no case has gone to Tier 3, former Supreme Court Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri said at Pixels, a digital entertainment conference organised by IAMAI.

Justice Sikri, who is also the Chairperson of IAMAI’s Grievance Redressal Board (GRB), formed as a part of the Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC), said, “All complaints directly addressed to MIB/Inter-departmental Committee (Level III) should be pushed by the Committee to be addressed by the platform (Level-I) and then by the self-regulating body (Level-II) before being taken by Level-III. The exercise of adjudicatory powers by the executive branch of the Government, if not done judiciously, will jeopardise the freedom of the digital entertainment in India.”

He further stated that the main concern of the industry is protecting intellectual rights in the digital entertainment space as well as addressing questions about data privacy. He added that ultimately when these issues come to regulators or courts, it is to be examined from the prism of – Democracy, Dissent, and the Constitution of India which guarantees Freedom of Speech under Article 19 (1) (a). He emphasised the need for an equilibrium between all the stakeholders, with minimal governmental control and maximum self-regulation to seamlessly regulate emerging sectors.

Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce (I&C) Department & Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITE&C) Department, Government of Telangana, also addressed the conference and highlighted the immense potential of the digital entertainment sector. He stated that the Telangana government is looking to strengthen infrastructure for the sector. “We are setting up a facility of 1.4 million square feet in Hyderabad called Image Tower, which would be a hub of animation and VFX. We are confident that once the Image Tower is up and running this would be the new face of Hyderabad,” Ranjan added.

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