Report: India Considering Censorship of Netflix, Amazon, Disney Streaming Video Content

With India and its second-largest population in the world, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney have aggressively sought an over-the-top video presence in the nascent market.

The influx of foreign SVOD services has reportedly prompted some government officials to ask for increased monitoring of content on the platforms — above existing regulations.

Reuters reports that public complaints about alleged obscenity or religious slights included in foreign streamed programming has some Indian lawmakers considering content censorship.

“The self-regulation isn’t the same for all, which is raising a concern … the directions are clear, we have to see how to address the problems,” an unidentified government official told the news agency.

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Indeed, Netflix and Disney-owned Hotstar agreed to sign a self-regulation of content code, while Amazon did not.

Netflix’s popular original series “Sacred Games,” about an Indian cop rooting out corruption and violence, has reportedly faced unsuccessful legal challenges regarding alleged offensive scenes and negative comments about Hindus and a former Prime Minister.

Other complaints have revolved around the lack of mandatory anti-smoking messages on Bollywood content streaming Netflix and Prime Video.

“With [censorship] regulation, all of the [global] content will need to be sanitized for India — a huge, expensive and time-consuming exercise,” global tech analyst Prasanto Roy told Reuters.

“Sacred Games,” now in its second season, has been an international hit for Netflix, including translation in 20 languages.

“We’ve been producing shows that are incredibly relevant in their home territories, and the nice windfall is that they get viewed all over the world,” Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos said March. “It’s really accelerating the brand perception of Netflix as … someone who’s producing content that you care about in every part of the world.”

 

One thought on “Report: India Considering Censorship of Netflix, Amazon, Disney Streaming Video Content”

  1. Amazon®[ Prime] Video™ India has been following the in-house self-censorship code, that’s why.

    They did the 1st iteration of it back in 2016( the launch-year) when they simply followed the conventional US FTA( North American: broadcast) model of blurring nudity and censoring strong-language. They undid most of it after ‘pop-Interweb’ but out of negligence, still left some older content — particularly those licensed under the (SHO)WTIME® imprint.( Which can be used to reproduce as a very strong evidence.)

    In fact, whilst ‘everybody else’ has been doing under-the-sheets but the incumbent head, Ms Salke in fact bragged about “the willpower to self-censor”( paraphrased) as the USP of her platform, which competitors lack.( Untrue. They’re all scared less because Mumbai is apparently a mobster turf!)
    And none of this is a jonk! Verily. Such are the state-of-affairs in “the World’s Largest Dummycracy” since about half of 10 years or so.

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