The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an industry association for technology companies and startups, has set up a Digital Publishers Content Grievance Council (DPCGC) as a self-regulatory body for streaming platforms.

According to the information technology rules 2021, over-the-top platforms (OTT) must comply with a newly created complaint and supervisory mechanism. According to the rules, every OTT platform must have an internal complaints department and key personnel to monitor this complaint system. In addition, every publisher must register with a self-regulatory organization, which is the second level of the supervisory framework. At the third level, an interdepartmental committee will be set up, chaired by a Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The three levels of supervision are intended to address complaints made by members of the public records. Under the rules, the platforms must act against any complaint they receive within 15 days, and any complainant has the option to appeal the publisher’s decision to either the publisher’s SRO or the government committee. You can also file complaints directly with the SRO or the government.

On May 26th, the government appointed Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary (Politics and Administration) in the I&B Ministry, as ‘Plenipotentiary’ responsible for the administration of these rules through the supervisory mechanism at the ministry level.

In one Communique, issued on the same day, the I&B Ministry’s digital media division instructed only digital media companies, over-the-top streaming platforms and traditional media companies to provide the ministry with information about their operations and compliance with the new rules within 15 days to submit

According to an IAMAI statement, the DPCGC will have a council made up of streaming platforms as members and an independent complaints committee; consisting of a chairman and six members. “The GRB is headed by a retired Supreme Court judge and members would include eminent figures from the media and entertainment industries, as well as experts in various fields such as children’s rights, minority rights and media law,” the industry organization said.

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The DPCGC board will ensure that all of its members adhere to the code of ethics prescribed in the rules and deal with any complaints that are not resolved by the platform within 15 days. It will hear complaints / appeals from complainants directly.

“IAMAI and the members of the DPCGC are deeply committed to protecting consumer rights and providing consumers with the right tools to make informed choices and address their complaints. The formation of this panel is an important step in consumer choice as more and more people view content online, ”said Subho Ray, President of IAMAI.

IAMAI said it had advised the Department of I&B that it would set up the DPCGC, which will act as the SRO unit within the overarching oversight mechanism. So far ten platforms have agreed to be represented by the new IAMAI Council:

  • Old balaji
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Arha Media
  • Fireworks
  • Hoichoi
  • Hungama
  • Lionsgate game
  • MX player
  • Netflix
  • Shemaroo

“IAMAI is also waiting for confirmations from several other of these digital publishers,” it said.

On Thursday, MediaNama emailed I&B ministry officials asking for clarification on whether there are selection criteria and guidelines for industry bodies and SROs that want to represent various digital media publishers and platforms.

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