IAMAI forms self-regulatory body for OTT players

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMA) has formed a self-regulatory body, the Digital Publishers Content Grievances Council (DPCGC), for the video streaming platforms or over-the-top (OTT) players.

The move for the online curated content publishers (OCCPs) is in line with the government notifying the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which mandated a three-tier complaint redressal mechanism, with an independent self-regulatory body as the second tier.

IAMAI said on Friday that it is establishing the DPCGC as the level-II self-regulatory body, as required under Rule 12, with the intent to empower consumers to make informed viewing choices.

“IAMAI and members of the DPCGC are deeply committed to protecting consumer rights and empowering consumers with the right tools to make informed decisions, as well as have their grievances addressed,” said Subho Ray, President, IAMAI.

“The formation of this body is an important step towards consumer choice, as more and more people are viewing content online.”

ET first reported on Wednesday that IAMAI had notified the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) that they were in the process of forming a self-regulatory body and had 10 OTT players signed up already.

So far, IAMAI has received confirmation from 10 publishers, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, MX Player, Alt Balaji, Arha Media, Firework, Hoichoi, Hungama, Lionsgate Play and Shemaroo, it said in a statement while adding that it is awaiting confirmation from several other platforms.

Meanwhile, industry sources said that broadcasters’ owned players – Disney+Hotstar, ZEE5, VOOT and Sony LIV are unlikely to join, as the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) itself wants to form a similar self-regulatory body for the OTT players. The IBF board has already passed a resolution to invite digital services and change the name of IBF to the Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF).

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Meanwhile, IAMAI said that the DPCGC will have an OCCP council composed of publishers of OCC as members and an independent grievance redressal board (GRB) — consisting of a chairperson and six members.

The GRB will be chaired by a retired Supreme Court/High Court judge, as required under the new rules, and the members would comprise eminent persons from the media and entertainment industry, experts from various fields including child rights, minority rights and media law.

The GRB will oversee and ensure the alignment and adherence to the Code of Ethics by the OCCP Council members, provide guidance to entities on the Code of Ethics, address grievances that have not been resolved by the publisher within 15 days and hear grievances/appeals filed by complainants.

While IAMAI has said that the DPCGC will serve as a transparent and open channel to effectively address consumer grievances, it will have to register itself with the MIB to be compliant.



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