The petitioner pointed out that current legislations such as the Cinematographic Act, 1952, and the Cable Television Network Regulation Act, 1995, do not apply to online streaming content.

Ktaka HC sends notice to state Centre on plea seeking regulation of streaming contentRepresentational image
news Regulation Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 08:40

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday sent notices to the state and union governments along with on-demand streaming content providers like— Netflix Entertainment Services India, (LLP), YouTube, Google India Pvt. Ltd, Hotstar, Star India Pvt Ltd, Amazon Prime, Amazon Development Centre (India) Pvt. Ltd and All Digital Media Entertainment Ltd, regarding creation of a Censor Board-like body.

 

The notices were sent by a division bench headed by acting Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy and Justice PS Dinesh Kumar based on a public interest litigation filed by Padmanabh Shankar, seeking regulation on movies and other multimedia content streamed on the Internet.

In his petition, he claimed that although online streaming platforms have proliferated multiple households, there was no authority to regulate the content—-films, serials and other multimedia content which can be accessed by one and all.

 

The petitioner pointed out that current legislations such as the Cinematographic Act, 1952, and the Cable Television Network Regulation Act, 1995  do not apply to online content. In his prayer, he sought the court to declare that the existing Censor Board regulates streaming content until a new body like the Central Board of Film Certification is formed solely for online content. 

He also asked the HC to restrict the access to films and other forms of multimedia content streamed on the Internet to a certain class of people or people belonging to some professions, until the formation of the new authority. This classification is to be done based on the nature and theme of the said content. 

He also cited multiple Supreme Court and High Court judgements which had directed reasonable restrictions and regulation on content shown on television and also orders leading up to the formation of an autonomous regulatory authority.

Further, he sought that screening of content on the Internet even in private settings like that of a house or an office, be brought under the ambit of “public exhibition” in accordance with the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

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