Netflix, Hotstar sign self-regulatory 'Code of Best Practices'

Online Curated Content Providers including Netflix and Hotstar have voluntarily signed a self-regulatory Code of Best Practices under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

The other signatories are Voot, Zee5, Arre, SonyLIV, ALT Balaji and Eros Now, IAMAI said in a statement on Thursday. Amazon Prime Video, another major palyer in the segment, however, is not part to the self-regulatory code.

"The code, which has been in the works for over a year, establishes guiding principles for Online Curated Content (OCC) Providers to conduct themselves in a responsible and transparent manner and at the same time ensures that consumer interests are protected," it said.

The code aims to empower consumers to make informed choices on age-appropriate content, protect the interests of consumers in choosing and accessing the content they want to watch, at their own time and convenience.

It would also provide a mechanism for complaints redressal in relation to content of the respective platforms. The code of best practices aims to safeguard and respect creative freedom of content creators and artistes.

"The Constitutional framework of India upholds freedom of speech and expression, including commercial speech. The Online Curated Content Providers, who are signatories to this Code, inter-alia seek to uphold the freedom as envisaged in the Constitution of India (including under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(1)(g))," the statement said.

The code further aims to "nurture creativity, create an ecosystem fostering innovation and abide by an individual's freedom of speech and expression".

According to IAMAI, the effort highlights two key principles -- to protect consumer interest while offering them a variety of content choices and exercising creative freedom. "

The code represents uniform principles and guidelines which will be adhered to by all signatories to the code, in letter and spirit."

It also said that signatory companies and IAMAI itself would want to collaborate with other players, under the principles in the code.