TRAI grants more time for providing comments on draft regulations related to B&C sector

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline for providing comments on the draft regulation for broadcasting and cable services tol 16th September.

The regulator had issued draft Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) (Amendment) Regulations, 2019 on 27th August 2019. The last date for receiving written comments from the stakeholders was fixed as 9th September 2019.

The stakeholders have sought an extension of time for sending their comments on the draft regulations. In view of this, it has been decided to extend the last date for submission of written comments up to 16th September 2019. The TRAI said it will not consider any further requests for extension.

As reported by TelevisionPost.com, through the draft regulation, the authority proposed to include Digital Rights Management (DRM) specifications in Schedule III. It noted that Schedule III of the Interconnection Regulations 2017 does not provide for the requirements/specifications of DRM based systems.

The authority during its consultations on audit manual received the feedback that owing to its benefits the IPTV based distribution platform operators (DPOs) are switching to DRM technology. It is necessary that the Audit regime covers the DRM based networks and provides for enabling provisions for such operators.

The TRAI noted that DRM is a systematic approach to copyright protection for digital media. The purpose of DRM is to prevent unauthorised redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways consumers can copy content they’ve purchased.

DRM products were developed in response to the rapid increase in online piracy of commercially marketed material, which proliferated through the widespread use of peer-to-peer file exchange programs.

Typically, DRM is implemented by embedding code that prevents copying, specifies a time period in which the content can be accessed or limits the number of devices the media can be installed on.

DRM technology focuses on making it impossible to steal content in the first place, a more efficient approach to the problem than the hit-and-miss strategies aimed at apprehending online poachers after the fact.

A consultation paper on “Interconnection framework for Broadcasting TV Services distributed through Addressable Systems” was issued by TRAI on 4th May 2016. This consultation process resulted in the notification of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 (1 of 2017) dated the 3rd March 2017 [herein after referred to as Interconnection Regulations 2017].

During the consultation undertaken to prepare the Audit Manual certain comments and observations reflect some issues in the Schedule III of the Interconnection Regulations 2017.

The draft regulation related to the amendment to schedule-III of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017, has been issued on the following issues:
1. Digital Rights Management Systems
2. Transactional capacity of CAS and SMS system
3. Fingerprinting – Support for Overt and Covert fingerprinting in STBs
4. Watermarking network logo for all pay channels

The authority stated that the objective of this draft regulation is to seek comments of all the stakeholders on the above-mentioned issues.

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