Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.

Portfolio

Loading...
Select Portfolio and Asset Combination for Display on Market Band
Select Portfolio
Select Asset Class
Show More
Download ET MARKETS APP

Get ET Markets in your own language

DOWNLOAD THE APP NOW

+91

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

ENG

  • ENG - English
  • HIN - हिन्दी
  • GUJ - ગુજરાતી
  • MAR - मराठी
  • BEN - বাংলা
  • KAN - ಕನ್ನಡ
  • ORI - ଓଡିଆ
  • TEL - తెలుగు
  • TAM - தமிழ்
Drag according to your convenience
ET NOW RADIO
ET NOW
TIMES NOW

Amazon opposes voluntary censorship code move mooted by industry

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Sep 12, 2018, 01.02 PM IST
0Comments
Amazon
“It assumes that paying adults are responsible for what they watch,” one person said.
MUMBAI: Amazon is opposing a move by its peers in the video-on-demand industry in India to consider adopting an industry-wide voluntary censorship code, fearing that it will alienate viewers.

The ecommerce giant, which streams video on its subscription service Prime, is trying to dissuade other players to drop the idea, two people familiar with the matter told ET. Amazon will not walk out of the discussions, though, and will continue to engage with its peers, the people said.

Netflix and Hotstar are among the top companies pushing for an industry censorship code. A similar code exists in Southeast Asian nations, with Netflix, Fox and Walt Disney as participants.

Amazon Prime Video, a subscription-based player, expects its subscribers will express outrage if it adopts an industry censorship code and question any alterations in movies and shows that they have paid to watch.

“It assumes that paying adults are responsible for what they watch,” one person said.

ET reported last week that top VOD companies were exploring the adoption of a voluntary code in anticipation of the Indian government coming up with its own rules, which some players expect will be onerous. AltBalaji, the VOD arm of Balaji Telefilms, opposes such a move and has stayed away from these discussions.

censorship-graphic

“Amazon is super-sensitive about the subject. It has debated and discussed this internally deeply. It does not want a code and it is not too worried about the government coming up with it. It’s a terrible idea to replicate TV regulations,” said another person familiar with the matter.

Amazon declined to comment on the issue. To be sure, Amazon and rivals such as Netflix, Sony Pictures and ZEE5 have their own set of rules through which they rate content and blur or delete images that may offend certain communities, groups of people or religious sentiments.

In India, there is no law that requires censorship of films and shows that are streamed online. Many VOD companies have been criticised by viewers and civil society in India for censoring content pre-emptively. There is also concern over the backlash on social media.

“Worldwide, platforms such as ours and many others have been responsible and I think will continue to be so. We do not see any major concern. Also, on digital platforms, consumers access content globally, in which case applying different standards to Indian companies may create challenges,” said Karan Bedi, CEO at MX Player, the over the top unit of Times Internet. Times Internet is the digital arm of the company that publishes The Economic Times.

Tarun Katial, CEO at ZEE5, said the industry has to ensure that companies are sensitive to gender, caste, creed and fundamental rights of people. “The industry is just coming together and it will take some time to put an industry code together. In the meantime, everybody is trying to make sure that they themselves are more mature about the fact that they need to regulate what’s coming on,” he said.

Netflix, Eros Now and AltBalaji declined to comment. An email sent to Hotstar remained unanswered.
0Comments

Also Read

Amazon Pay launches Amazon Pay EMI

Browse in Hindi on Amazon India

Why India matters to the Amazon story

Netflix, Amazon explore voluntary censorship

Netflix, Amazon explore voluntary censorship

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Loading
Please wait...