Netflix and Amazon Prime Video sued in India over unregulated “vulgar, sexually explicit” content

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video sued in India over unregulated “vu...

 

The one thing that makes content on streaming services attractive is the lack of censorship or unwarranted and unnecessary cuts that take away from the story of a film or TV Show.

Now, a Delhi-based NGO named Justice for Rights has reportedly filed a petition with the Delhi High Court to remove so called vulgar and explicit content from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others, stating that the streaming platforms offer “vulgar, sexually explicit, pornographic, profane, virulent, religiously forbidden and morally unethical content” to increase subscriber base and gain profit.

Do we need judicial intervention in every custom or practice in our society? We take matters like what the youngsters should wear, schools should not allow cold drinks and junk food, restrictions on worship for women, right to love someone inside or outside the cast system, etc. Is it civil society activism or un – necessary judicial intervention?

Social activists in India, need to ponder!!!

The one thing that makes content on streaming services attractive is the lack of censorship or unwarranted and unnecessary cuts that take away from the story of a film or TV Show. In 2016, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting specifically said that it will not censor online content and any following attempts to do so have been met with strong opposition from the media industry in India. Now, a Delhi-based NGO named Justice for Rights has reportedly filed a petition with the Delhi High Court to remove so called vulgar and explicit content from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others, stating that the streaming platforms offer “vulgar, sexually explicit, pornographic, profane, virulent, religiously forbidden and morally unethical content” to increase subscriber base and gain profit.

Advocate Harpreet S. Hora appearing for the NGO sought guidelines and regulations for streaming services in India which currently do not come under the same ambit that censors sexually explicit content in theatrical releases. Unlike movies that release in theaters or TV shows that air on television channels, streaming platforms in India have the liberty to provide uncensored content on their platforms. The NGO’s plea challenges the same and on Wednesday, the Delhi High Court sought the Centre’s response on the matter of removal of explicit content from streaming services in India.

In an earlier interview, Hora explained that one of the key arguments the petition puts forward is that there is no committee or guideline to review streaming content in India. This, according to Hora, violates the current Cinematograph Act of India, which for now, does not apply to streaming services. Hora has called out shows like Sacred Games, Spartacus, Game of Thrones, Vikings and others, saying that these shows are very popular among school goers and teenagers, and that the violence shown in these shows should be regulated or should have some viewing guidelines.

Unlike streaming platforms, OTT (over-the-top) services like iTunes and Google Play Movies upload only those films in India that have been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

IANS reports that a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao have listed the matter for further hearing on February 8, 2019