‘Creative freedom needed to remain on top of OTT boom’

‘Creative freedom needed to remain on top of OTT boom’

NEW DELHI: A policy paper on the future of India’s entertainment industry by FTII chief Shekhar Kapur and Censor Board member Vani Tripathi Tikkoo has said India can occupy a dominant position in the OTT landscape by allowing “creative freedom” and “encouraging industry standards to help provide viewers with information about content, allowing them to make their own viewing choices”.
The paper, published by policy think-tank Esya Centre, comes at a time when the information and broadcasting ministry has ordered that all digital content, both in the areas of news and entertainment, be brought under its jurisdiction, triggering concerns of censorship with some alleging that it is contrary to the government’s earlier assertions that OTT platforms should be allowed to self-regulate.
Co-authored by Kapur, Tikkoo, lawyer Akshat Agarwal and Esya Centre advisor Vivan Sharan, the paper dwells on the transformational impact of the OTT platforms which are expected to become a Rs 12,000 crore market by 2023. “To achieve the desired outcomes for India’s creative sector, the country needs to effect three important transformations: promoting creative freedom, digital products and devices, and levelling the playing field at all levels of the creative supply chain,” says the paper.
“In the context of OTT, the industry should be encouraged to come together, standardise and ensure consumers have all the information and technological controls they need for making informed decisions about the content they consume. Such measures should seek to protect children from inappropriate materials, inform viewers about the themes of any particular content, and provide tools such as parental controls to ensure that parents can effectively regulate the content viewed by young children,” it says.
In India, unlike print, broadcast and radio platforms, online content has remained outside the purview of a formal regulatory framework.

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