Netflix, Hotstar & others to self-regulate content in India

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Streaming giants like Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, SonyLIV and ALTBalaji have confirmed that they will be self regulating content they stream in the India market.

Reuters reports that Netflix faced legal consequences last year after a complaint was filed against its first original Indian series ‘Sacred Games’. It revolved around an alleged insult about former prime minister and Congress party leader, Rajiv Gandhi.

To safeguard its content and avoid getting into any further legal wrangles, Netflix, as well as other streaming platforms will be signing up to an unofficial code, prohibiting them to stream any content, which could be deemed disrespectful towards India and offensive in sexual nature. Interestingly, Amazon Prime Video will not be signing up to the code.

Streaming platforms will be adhering to points from the following code:
– Content which deliberately and maliciously disrespects the national emblem or national flag;
– Content which represents a child engaged in real or simulated sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes;
– Content which deliberately and maliciously intends to outrage religious sentiments of any class, section or community;
– Content which deliberately and maliciously promotes or encourages terrorism and other forms of violence against the State (of India) or its institutions; and
-Content that has been banned for exhibition or distribution by online video service under applicable laws or by any court with competent jurisdiction.

Ashok Nambissan, General Counsel, Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited said, “Self-regulation encourages creativity and makes content creators more responsive to their viewers. It’s worked well for broadcast media and there’s no reason for it not do so for curated video content. We are happy to be part of this industry initiative.”

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