Center revives bill to regulate digital news media registration: report

The central government is preparing a bill for a new newspaper registration regime that will also include the digital news media industry, which is currently not included in the Centre’s registration framework, reported. The economic period.

The Government will soon bring forward the Press and Periodicals Registration Bill, 2019 with the changes before the Cabinet. The new bill will replace the colonial-era Press and Book Registration Act 1867, which currently regulated the newspaper and printing industry in India.

If the bill passes, digital news websites operating in India will be on par with newspapers, and they will have to register with the Registrar General of Press, equivalent to the Registrar of Newspapers in India, the HEY indicated report. Digital news platforms currently do not make any such recordings.

In 2019, the Center published a bill that defined “digital media information” as “information in digitized format that may be transmitted over the Internet, computer or mobile networks and includes text, audio, video and graphics”.

When the bill was proposed, it sparked controversy as many argued it was the Center’s attempt to “control” digital news media. The central government at the time went no further with the bill.

However, the Center has now finalized all ministerial and other stakeholder consultations, and the Bill will not be submitted to the Union Cabinet for approval, after which it will be presented to Parliament, HEY reported.

The ET report said the 2019 bill would also free up the book publishing industry by removing existing provisions relating to book registrations and related matters.

The draft also proposes to “decriminalize” and simplify registration requirements and regulations.

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