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Monday, October 18, 2021

IAMAI’s Implementation Toolkit ushers in self-regulation Code for OTT

The Internet and Mobile Association of India has announced the adoption of a comprehensive ‘Implementation Toolkit’ in pursuit of the Universal Self-Regulation Code for Online Curated Content Providers (OCCP) that was put in motion on September 4, 2020.

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The Toolkit will lay down procedures to put in to effect the provisions of the Code; help signatories to carry out their commitments and responsibilities as laid down in the Code; and, finally, to ensure effective self-regulation as envisaged in the Code. The signatories will through the Toolkit also address feedback received from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) on matters of conflict of interest and prohibited content.

The Code has been adopted by 17 leading Online Curated Content Providers in India. The signatories include ZEE5, Viacom 18 (Voot), Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, SonyLiv, MX Player, Jio Cinema, Eros Now, ALTBalaji, Arre, HoiChoi, Hungama, Shemaroo, Discovery Plus, Aha, and Lionsgate Play. The Toolkit comes into effect from February 10, 2021.

The Implementation Toolkit will help signatories to smoothly move into self-regulation and guide them on matters such as:

  • Relevant laws of the land to be adhered to by the signatories
  • Transparent functioning of the grievance redressal mechanism, with a provision to escalate it to an Advisory Panel with independent members
  • Training programmes for creative and legal teams of OCCPs for better understanding of the laws that govern content
  • Awareness programmes for consumers to help widen understanding and use of age rating, content descriptor, and parental controls
  • Implementation of a detailed audit and compliance mechanism
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Amit Goenka, Chair, Digital Entertainment Committee, IAMAI

Speaking to the media about the Toolkit, Amit Goenka, Chair, Digital Entertainment Committee, IAMAI, said, “The Universal Self-Regulation Code, which is signed by the country’s top video streaming services, marks a watershed moment in the history of the online streaming industry. Today, with the adoption of ‘Implementation Toolkit’, it further strengthens our (OCCPs) commitment to augment consumer empowerment and creative excellence for the Indian entertainment industry to grow multifold. This Toolkit amplifies all the critical points that were addressed in the Code signed last year and aims to address feedback received from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, particularly on strengthening the grievance redressal mechanism.  It further sets out clear tentpoles that the OCCPs need to undertake to achieve a common goal of entertaining millions of Indians responsibly.”

In addition, IAMAI will put in place a first of its kind ‘IAMAI Secretariat for the Code’, consisting of representatives of the signatories to the Code and IAMAI. The secretariat will administer the implementation of the Code and the Toolkit.

IAMAI also aims to seek periodic updates from the signatories about their progress with regard to compliance with the provisions of the Code.

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