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Netflix, Amazon Prime subscribers can relax; your favourite shows aren’t going anywhere

FE Online

The Delhi High Court on Friday ruled in favour of digital streaming services including Netflix and Amazon prime in response to a PIL filed by an NGO in October last year that sought a ban on such services till the regulations are created.

The bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao quashed the PIL following the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting informing it that there is no licence required by such platforms to offer services to customers, PTI reported.

The NGO Justice for Rights Foundation had alleged that online media streaming platforms show “uncertified, sexually explicit and vulgar” content.

The court in November had asked the ministry, through its central government standing counsel Vikram Jetly, to know whether airing content on online platforms requires any licence or regulatory measures issued by the government or any regulatory body.

The petition by the NGO had further said that web television series such as Sacred Games, Game of Thrones and Spartacus available on platforms like Netflix, contain “vulgar, profane, sexually explicit, pornographic, morally unethical and virulent” content that often portrays women in “objectifying manner”.

The NGO had requested directions to multiple ministries including communication, information and broadcasting, and law and justice to set up rules for regulating these platforms and content aired.

It had further sought an order to these ministries to pull down “legally restricted content” immediately from the OTT platforms.

Last month, Hotstar, Jio, Voot, Netflix, Zee5, SonyLIV, ALT Balaji, Arre, and Eros Now have signed a self-censorship code to prohibit content that disrespects the national emblem and flag, offends religious sentiments, promotes terrorism, shows children in sexual acts, etc, according to the code drafted by Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

IAMAI in a statement had stated the code focuses on two important principles, first, to protect consumer interest while offering them a variety of content choices and exercising creative freedom and second, the code represents uniform principles and guidelines which will be adhered to by all signatories to the code, in letter and spirit.