On 25.02.2021, The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology published in the official gazette the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“Rules”). The Rules, inter-alia, contemplate that there may be one or more self-regulatory bodies of Online Curated Content Publishers (“OCCP”), being an independent body constituted by OCCPs or their associations.
For ensuring observance and adherence to the code of ethics by OCCPs operating in the territory of India (“Code”), and for addressing the grievances made in relation to OCCPs, the Rules outline a three-tier structure, which is broadly as under:
(a) Level I - Self-regulation by the publishers (OCCP)
(b) Level II - Self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies (SRB) of the publishers (OCCP)
(c) Level III - Oversight mechanism by the Central Government
In line with the extant regulation, Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC), was constituted in June 2021 under the aegis of Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation (IBDF), as an independent Self Regulatory body for non-news OCCPs.