Supreme courts notice against OTT platforms

OTT platforms in India have gained massive popularity in the past few months, and the Supreme court seems a little tense about the issue. Recently, the supreme court has issued a notice to the central government to create a team of members looking after these OTT platforms' content. Most famous Platforms such as Netflix, Disney Hotstar, and MX Player are on the supreme court's radar. Supreme court sent this Notice hearing the plea filed by Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurva Arhatia to create an excellent board to manage and regulate the content shown and produced by different OTT platforms in India.

Most people in India weren’t involved in the OTT platform until March 2020, but lockdown had some other plans. Lockdown due to COVID-19 gave people a lot of leisure time, and people capitalized this time on these digital platforms. Viewership of these OTT platforms faced a massive rise in a short period, and now these platforms have become a necessity for India’s people. Apart from this, the closure of cinema halls was another reason why these OTT platforms witnessed a rise in their viewership. 

People weren’t able to step out of their houses, and hence they had to spend their free time somewhere. At that moment, the OTT platforms were the only source of entertainment for many people. Even the Bollywood industry realized the same, and they started releasing movies on the OTT platform, especially on Disney Hotstar. Disney Hotstar has already bought many films from the Bollywood industry and will soon be released on the forum.

Moreover, these platforms cost less than the price in a movie theater, which is why people were happy to buy the subscription, which automatically leads to an increase in viewership of different digital platforms in India.

The Affect of OTT platforms

As discussed, most people in India are now attracted to these digital OTT platforms, and they highly depend on these platforms for their entertainment. However, every coin has two sides, and the same happens in this case. These OTT platforms have both pros and cons, and it is up to an individual how they utilize it-

PROS– OTT refers to Over the Top, and it can be categorized into two types OTT messaging and OTT video. In OTT messaging, content is communicated through the internet, whereas, in OTT video, content is published over the internet with service providers’ help. There are several benefits that OTT videos deliver, such as:-

  • They reach more people as compared to any other entertainment medium.
  • They are cheap as compare to other sources available in the market.
  • They don’t have any installation cost, which helps the publisher to gain more profit.
  • Return on Investment is relatively high on these platforms.
  • These platforms provide a vast quality of the material.

CONS- As discussed, every coin has two sides, and so does OTT platforms. These platforms have a few negative points that affect humans.

  • Shows available on these platforms are not for sensitive minds, and they have a massive impact on human psychology. 
  • Many ISPs worldwide have restricted the amount of data you can use, and these platforms consume a lot of data.
  • These shows usually don’t have rights, and content is made for cable only.

Although there are few Cons of OTT platforms, many positives can’t be left unseen. So, these platforms are indeed a blessing for the human race, and these should be promoted. However, a Government body can be created to control the quality of content available on these platforms.


The requirement of a legal body

Let’s talk about a legal body’s requirement to regulate these platforms. The answer will be YES as supreme Chief Justice SA Bobde (1) and Justices AS Bopanna (2) & V Ramasubramanian (3) mentioned in the notice given to the central government and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Internet and Mobile Association of India. A regulating body can monitor the quality and genre of the shows that are presented by these platforms, and this should be done because every age group nowadays is connected to these digital platforms. The government needs to rectify the content for better viewership. 

There is a massive lack of legalization on these platforms, and different cases have been registered based on legalization. Apart from this, none of these platforms have signed the self-regulation shared by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting self-regulation in Feb 2020.


The Future of OTT platforms in India

It is evident that OTT platforms have a bright future in India, but this can only happen if the content published by these platforms is generous and watchable by every age group. It can only be done if a set of people will be appointed by the center to monitor and regulate the activities done by these platforms. Moreover, the appointed team can also restrict the shows and content and ensure that the makers legally show the content. In addition to this, the censor board can see movies and presentations, and the required changes can be made before publishing.

To conclude, the OTT platform will undoubtedly be the future of the entertainment industry; however, sudden changes are essential. The central government should make those changes as soon as possible. The Supreme court’s notice is considerable and strict actions are the need of the hour.

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