Online curated content providers, including Disney Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and 12 others, have adopted the universal self-regulation code rolled out by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on Friday.
Other signatories of the code are Zee5, Viacom 18, MX Player, Jio Cinema, Eros Now, Alt Balaji, Arre, HoiChoi, Hungama, Shemaroo, Discovery Plus and Flickstree, the industry body said in a statement.
“Most of the major streaming services have adopted the Code and we look forward to others joining,” Tarun Katial, chair of the digital entertainment committee at IAMAI, said.
Effective from August 15, the code includes a framework for age classification, content descriptions for titles as well as access control tools, the statement said. The code also introduces a structured grievance redressal and escalation mechanism to report non-compliance, it said.
Content providers are required to set up a consumer complaint department or an internal committee as well as an advisory panel that will deal with complaints, appeals and escalations. The panel will entail a minimum of three members, including an independent external advisor and two senior company executives.
Additionally, each signatory to the code has agreed to appoint an external advisor as part of the grievance redressal mechanism by November 3, the statement said.
“The universal self-regulation code for OCCPs is built around a shared belief that consumer empowerment and creative excellence are key to the long-term success of the Indian entertainment industry. With the framework for age classification, content descriptions and parental controls in combination with a grievance redressal system, we’ve made it easier for consumers to make the right viewing decisions for themselves and their families,”IAMAI’s Katial said.
In January 2019, the industry body released guidelines for OTT players to ensure that prohibited content, such as disrespecting the national emblem, showing children in sexual acts, offending religious sentiments, promoting terrorism or content that has been banned for exhibition or distribution by a court of law, are not aired. Nine players, including Viacom 18, Hotstar, Netflix, Zee5, Arre, SonyLIV, ALT Balaji, Jio Digital Life and Sony Liv were signatories to the code at the time.
In July, it launched its first virtual incubation programme for technology-based early businesses. In July, IAMAI set up a founder’s community of 35 direct-to-consumer brands in the country from across segments such as food, consumer durables, electronics, fashion and fast-moving consumer goods.