The Internet and Mobile Association of India announced on Thursday that its self-regulatory body for streaming content companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video is headed by former Supreme Court Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri. The Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC), the body whose Appeals Committee (GRB) Sikri will chair, was formed in accordance with the recently notified Information Technology Rules (Broker Guidelines and Code of Ethics for Digital Media) in 2021 to Appeal Complaints Against Individual Streaming -Services that are members of the panel; If someone wishes to make a complaint about content from one of the 14 DPCGC members and this complaint is handled unsatisfactorily by the relevant service, DPCGC will decide on an appeal.
Further members of the DPCGC GRB appointed: The Appeals Committee includes actress Suhasini Maniratnam; Film producer Madhu Bhojwani; Gopal Jain, Attorney at the Supreme Court; and Dr. Ranjana Kumari, Director of the Center for Social Research and Chair of Women Power Connect, will be the representative of civil society. The two members of the Online Curated Content Providers are Amit Grover, Senior Corporate Counsel, Amazon India, and Priyanka Chaudhari, Director-Legal, Netflix India.
Apple has also joined the DPCGC, presumably for its Apple TV + subscription service. The other members are Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, ALT Balaji, BookMyShow Stream, Eros Now, Firework TV, Hoichoi, Hungama, Lionsgate Play, MX Player, Reeldrama, Shemaroo and Ullu. Ullu appears to be the first adult content streamer to join a self-regulatory agency.
“The GRB will monitor and ensure the alignment and compliance with the code of ethics by the members of the DPCG Council, provide guidelines on the code of ethics to the member organizations and address complaints that have not been resolved by the publisher within the specified period,” IAMAI said in one Press release.
Streaming services are split between two regulators
Some OTT services, previously under the aegis of IAMAI, have chosen to join another Indian Broadcasting Foundation self-regulatory agency that was previously an SRB for television broadcasters. IBF said in a Press release that it will be renamed the Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) to welcome the new players. Disney + Hotstar, ZEE5, Sony LIV and Jio are likely to be members of this body, Exchange4media reported. IBF Secretary Radhakrishnan Nair told MediaNama that 11 streaming services have agreed in principle to join the panel and that a formal announcement would be made shortly about who these players are.
Streaming services under the IAMAI SRB sent a letter to the Department of Information and Broadcasting in April expressing concerns about the Code, including insufficient deadlines for compliance with requirements such as age restrictions, prescribing a direct government charter and parallel crime action through police complaints that undermine the purpose of the facility.