Censorship of OTT platforms

OTT Platforms have seen stunning development all over India just as different segments of the globe recently. As indicated by reports, this video web-based feature would ascend to an increase of Rs, 4000 crores before the years over 2025. What’s more, as of month July 2020, India had around 29 crores of these online Platform user. Now, the question arises that what are these online OTT platforms?

We’ve now arrived to a point where people hardly admit to watching television or going to the movies. Everyone is so preoccupied with numerous internet platforms that the days of watching video content just on television or in movie theatres were the lone medium to devour video content. We have arrived at that mark of time where individuals barely say that they are into Television or cinemas.

Everybody is so occupied with different online stages that elapsed are those occasions when Television or film theatres were the lone medium to devour video content. India specifically has seen a huge development in the assimilation of video content on colossal online stages over the most recent couple of years. What’s more, come to think about the critical purpose for this colossal change-further web infiltration because of unhindered internet development due to which the web turned out to be extremely modest and consistently expanding advanced mobile phone utilization, eventually prompting ascend in different online Platforms referred to as OTT stages otherwise called the Over-the-Top Platforms.

What are OTT platforms?

Nowadays, you don’t necessarily need a cable to be captivated by movies; with the help of the Internet, you can watch video content from anywhere. This service is made possible by OTT platforms. OTT stands for “Over The Top,” and it refers to any media resource that streams video content such as TV shows and movies, as well as online news, over the internet rather than through traditional distribution networks such as cable and DTH (direct-to-home).

The year 2020 hit media outlets hard, with theatres closing down and film shoots halting in the wake of the Covid pandemic, however something great emerged from it as well. With no elective wellspring of entertainment in conflict, Over The Top (OTT) platforms checked in a phenomenal viewership. The crowd was charmed not just by the possibility of observing new deliveries from the solace of their homes yet in addition by the superior content on offer, made particularly for the advanced space. From romantic comedies to sentiment dramatizations, and wrongdoing spine chillers, the webspace was giving out quality content constantly and entertainment starved individuals were lapping it up.

However, as content-viewing moved from being a communal experience on a 70mm screen to a customized issue on 5-inch versatile screens, the idea of the content changed as well. Without any limitations, and empowered by the wild accomplishment of specific shows, creators felt free to use explicit scenes and language that they would ordinarily avoid for fear of being rejected by the Censor Board and the audience.

We are now living in an era of on-the-go entertainment. We have access to a vast selection of entertainment platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar, Alt Balaji, Sony Liv and Zee Prime, to mention a few. However, these over-the-top (OTT) platforms, on the other hand, have been the target of the Indian government’s wrath over content filtering supervision.

Since the time the OTT stages have been brought inside the domain of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) by the public authority, there have been rising worries in the streaming area that checks will be presented by the Ministry on the OTT content through its own arrangement of rules and guidelines. In any case, the inquiry approaching to everyone is how far is the curtailment of entertainment forms justified?

Rise of OTT platforms

  • OTT stages offer freshly brewed and pristine Content in various dialects and sorts. OTT platforms give content that is reasonable and low-cost, such as Amazon Prime, which charges fair rates of 999 rupees per year, making video streaming affordable to the majority of Indians.
  • Nowadays, movies are first released on these OTT platforms in advance of their television premieres. As a result, standing in line to buy movie tickets is a thing of the past.
  • Top and well-known OTT platforms entice viewers with free premium subscription policies or a month-long free trial.
  • The shows on these platforms are typically ad-free, enticing people to them. Viewers will not be subjected to incessant promotional material and will be able to enjoy the shows without interruption.

What happens to OTT platforms and how they should be regulated?

The public authority has been chosen to bring movies and audio-visual programmes created by these online content creators to the audit platforms, and their first test before the review committee will be to keep an eye on their content.

Furthermore, the central government has placed numerous platforms under the I&B ministry, which implies that these platforms will have to apply for certification and licence for anything they wish to present to the live streaming platforms. This in itself would lead to numerous struggles as most OTT platforms offer content that could some way or another be edited by the Indian certification authorities.

There is a different place of perspectives which was made by the movie directors, creators that creating guidelines for OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar and others to level the playing field between motion pictures released in theatres and those on streaming platforms. It is stated that movies directly released on OTT platforms do not require CBFC certification and thus have an edge over those released in theatres. On the other hand, somebody contended that there would be no guidelines and that if there was, it should be self-regulation limited to certification and the choice of content to view. When it comes to certification, whether the content contains viciousness, nudities, coarse speech, or some other foreordained element it ought to be up to individuals that they need to watch it or not and for the kids, occupied forms should also allow parental control. Whatever they view or not, all this load of things rely upon them. This was the fundamental goal that was contended by the directors.

 Concept of Censorship in India

An overview of Indian censorship can be best portrayed as blend of nationalities, races and religious entities that have coexisted peacefully. They have comparable method for articulation, regardless of whether scholarly, creative, or true to life, and these articulations have been considered questionable to others at some time. The Indian Constitution ensures the right to the right to speak freely of discourse and articulation, subject to specific impediments like profound quality, respectability, and public request.

Have you ever seen an image in a newspaper, TV channel, or other platform that is obscured purposefully, a mute or “beep” sound in a video or in certain film scenes, a book being prohibited and restrictions on watching any movie in a shopping mall or any art that is prohibited from being displayed publically because it is believed to offend the general public’s sentiments?

As a result, “censorship” is defined as the “the act of blocking a communication, or any other information or activity from being viewed by people on the premise that such material is viewed as frightful, destructive, sensitive or inconvenient.” Censorship even incorporates the idea of evacuation of any material or content which can prompt societal outrage in the general public.

Movies have consistently demonstrated themselves to be a wellspring of information for the general people. They convey assortments of content and call attention to information that is otherwise buried. When it comes to interacting with people from all over the world with various varieties where each language has its own portrayal, the film industry plays a critical role. These movies and television shows have consistently been an extraordinary way for passing on message or an ideology out to the general public. Starting from street drama to motion pictures, colour films, TV shows, tapes and DVDs, we now have OTT platforms that keep ourselves refreshed and engaged.

There movies, however, are directed by the Center Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) which was established under the Cinematographic Act of 1952. According to the Censor Board Act, “A movie shall not be certified for public screening if, in the judgement of the authority competent to award the certificate, the movie or any part of it is against the interests of, inter alia, decency.” As a result, its freedom of expression is restricted. Our Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech and expression as basic right. According to Article 19 of our constitution, everyone has the right to express themselves, including the right to hold opinions without interference and the right to seek and receive information and ideas through the media regardless of circumstances.

The court has also made a point of striking a balance between the interests of freedom of speech and the interests of society. Because, while our constitution grants us various fundamental rights, it also imposes certain limitations (Article 19(2)) on those rights, such as public order, decency, and morality. For censorship purposes, ordinary men’s common sense, not the sense of oversensitive males, should be used to make a decision about the movie.

Conclusion

All these organisations would have experienced enormous development in the near future regardless of the pandemic, although the industry was boosted by the fact that the majority of television production was halted during the early stages of the lockdown.

In light of current events, there should be a need for an independent regulating authority. A self-regulatory organisation cannot manage internet content streaming, and the body must distinguish between accountability for content on whole platforms and the government must work together to resolve this issue once and for all. These days public is searching for content that will draw out the reality of society manage policy driven issues and give us territorial assortments of content that don’t hurt the assumptions of a solitary class of individuals.

OTT platforms have the most extreme client base these days. They have demonstrated themselves to be the wellspring of gigantic information, considerations, and suppositions. A long time from now, if these stages are permitted to act naturally, they will arrive at statures. These stages can be the wellspring of the greatest work and pay.

Indian directors and makers are making content on these OTT platforms with no hampers and placing in the entirety of their imagination in the substance, which is in any event, contending in the International market. In the event that control appears in these OTT platforms, it won’t just hamper innovativeness and decrease the quantity of viewers worldwide yet additionally debilitate unfamiliar venture. Hence as I would like to think, as “Writing is the reflection of Society”, likewise regardless of how the picture might be, these OTT platforms show the genuine image of the general public which individuals should think about. Forestalling them to make a movie will eventually prompt the fall of our general public overall.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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