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OTT self-regulatory body appoints chairperson, members

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation, the apex body of broadcasters, which is to be renamed the Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation (IBDF), to also include OTT operators, has announced the appointment of justice (retd.) Vikramjit Sen as chairman, along with six other media and entertainment industry members for the newly formed Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC). DMCRC is the self-regulatory body for video streaming platforms that will fall under IBDF.

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The council members include film-makers Nikkhil Advani, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Deepak Dhar, the chief executive officer and founder of Banijay Group. The other two members from the streaming platforms or online curated content providers (OCCPs) include Ashok Nambisan, general counsel, Sony Pictures Pvt. Ltd, and Mihir Rale, chief regional counsel, Star and Disney India.

The self-regulatory body has been formed as per the mandate of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, brought out by the government this February. This industry-led self-regulatory body (SRB) for digital OTT platforms is a second-tier mechanism at the appellate level, similar to Broadcast Content Complaint Council (BCCC).

“I am delighted that so many experts from the media and entertainment industry have come forward and accepted the invitation of IBDF to be part of the proposed self-regulatory body. I look forward to working with the council, whose mandate is to ensure freedom of expression of the Indian creative industry as well as to help the discerning audience of the OTT platforms to have unhindered access to world-class and differentiated content,” K. Madhavan, president, IBF, said and added that this is a win-win for all stakeholders, that is, the media and entertainment industry, the policymakers and the subscribers of the OTT platforms.

Justice Vikramajit Sen has practiced in all the courts in Delhi, primarily the high court. He has handled civil, arbitration and commercial disputes and had a special interest and consultancy on minority rights. He was elevated to the Supreme Court of India in 2012 and retired in 2015. In 2017, justice Sen was appointed chairman of the BCCC.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, 10 video streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, ALTBalaji and MX Player, have agreed to join the new Digital Publishers Content Grievances Council (DPCGC) formed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). This is the second self-regulatory body of OTT firms to address content-related complaints. Live Mint

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