The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) today unveiled the Universal Self-Regulation Code for OCCPs (“Code”). The Code has been adopted by 15 leading Online Curated Content Providers in India. The present set of signatories include Zee5, Viacom 18, Disney Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, MX Player, Jio Cinema, Eros Now, Alt Balaji, Arre, HoiChoi, Hungama, Shemaroo, Discovery Plus, Flickstree.
The goal of this industry-wide effort is to empower consumers with information and tools to assist them in making informed choice with regard to viewing decisions for them and their families, while at the same time, nurturing creativity and providing creators the freedom to tell the finest stories. By aiming to do what is best for both consumers and creators as guiding principles, the Code intends for India to be one of the most dynamic and fastest growing entertainment industries in the world.
To give consumers more choice and control, the Universal Self-Regulation Code includes a framework for age classification and content descriptions for titles as well as access control tools. The Code also introduces a clear, transparent and structured grievance redressal and escalation mechanism for reporting non-compliance with the prescribed guidelines. As a part of this mechanism, each OCCP will set-up a Consumer Complaints Department and/or an internal committee as well as advisory panel which will deal with complaints, appeals and escalations. The advisory panel will constitute a minimum of three members, including an independent external advisor and two senior executives of the respective OCCP.
Tarun Katial, Chair, Digital Entertainment Committee, IAMAI, said, “The Universal Self-Regulation Code for OCCPs is built around a shared belief that consumer empowerment and creative excellence are key to the long-term success of the Indian entertainment industry. With the Framework for Age Classification, Content Descriptions and parental controls in combination with a grievance redressal system, we’ve made it easier for consumers to make the right viewing decisions for themselves and their families.”
“The combination of empowering consumers and enabling creative excellence will help Online Curated Content Providers be at the forefront of taking the best stories from India to the world and bringing the finest stories from around the world to Indian consumers. Most of the major streaming services have adopted the Code and we look forward to others joining.” he added.
The Code is effective from 15 August 2020 and allows OCCPs to comply with all the guidelines in a timebound manner. Each signatory to the code has agreed to appoint an external advisor as part of the grievance redressal mechanism within 60 days from today.