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SC Notice to Centre on Content Streamed by Online Platforms

Unlike the apex court, the High Court did not issue notice on the NGO’s petition but had only sought the government’s response

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A gardener works on the lawns of the Supreme Court in New Delhi, India, Aug. 22, 2017. VOA

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to respond on a plea seeking guidelines on the regulation of uncertified and sexually explicit content being streamed on global online platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice after hearing the petitioner. Earlier, the plea was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on February 8. The petitioner had moved the apex court challenging the High Court order.

The petitioner, Justice for Rights Foundation through its advocate H.S. Hora stated that online streaming platforms do not have a licence to function, and the same argument was accepted by the ministries concerned in their response on the plea in the High Court.

According to the petitioner, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had said that for these streaming platforms, it is not mandatory to get a licence from the ministry. Later, the High Court dismissed the petition.

The plea said: “The said online platforms are displaying unlicensed, unregulated, uncertified content and collecting subscription amounts from Indian consumers whereas the content telecast on the online platforms is illegal to the extent that certain movies are banned under the provisions of the Indian Cinematograph Act.”

netflix
The new plans appearing on Netflix India’s website lists the weekly mobile-only plan for Rs 65, basic plan for Rs 125. Pixabay

Arguing in the High Court, the petitioner contended that series like “Sacred Games”, “Game of Thrones” and “Spartacus”, broadcast on platforms such as Netflix, contain sexually explicit content and depict women in objectionable manner.

The petitioner argues that the online content has not even passed by the Central Board for Film Certification.

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Unlike the apex court, the High Court did not issue notice on the NGO’s petition but had only sought the government’s response.

The NGO, in its petition in the High Court, had claimed that online media streaming platforms, including Hotstar, show content which is not regulated and also not even certified for broadcast in public. (IANS)

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India has the Highest Film Viewing on Netflix

70% Netflix users in India watch one film in a week

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Netflix
According to Netflix, 70% Netflix users in India watch one film in a week. Pixabay

Seventy per cent Netflix subscribers watch at least one film a week in India and as a percentage of overall time spent on the streaming platform, film viewing in the country is the highest for any country worldwide, the streaming giant said on Monday while announcing its list of most popular titles of 2019.

Celebrating shows and films that highlight the diversity of its content and the varied tastes of its members, the streaming behemoth said Sacred Games Season 2 (series) was the most popular release of 2019 in India followed by Kabir Singh (film), Article 15 (film), Bard of Blood (series), Drive (film), Badla (film), House Arrest (film),
6 Underground (film), Delhi Crime (series) and Chopsticks (film) at the 10th spot.

Netflix and chill
This year has been an incredible one especially for Netflix films in the country as they have taken four of the top 10 slots. Pixabay

“We’re always looking for new ways to help people find something to watch on Netflix, and knowing what’s popular is a helpful signal. These 2019 ‘What We Watched’ lists should be especially useful over the holidays when Google searches for ‘what to watch on Netflix’ are at their peak,” the company said in a statement.

According to the firm, these lists are ranked by the number of accounts choosing to watch at least two minutes of a series, movie or special during its first 28 days on the platform in 2019.

“We are pleased at how overwhelmingly popular Netflix’s shows and films have become — with our Original series and films featuring prominently in the lists,” the company added.

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This year has been an incredible one especially for Netflix films in the country as they have taken four of the top 10 slots.

The company added that across 2019 and 2020 it will invest Rs 3,000 crore in content in India. (IANS)