National Communications Commission has announced draft "Internet Audiovisual Service Management Act"
In response to the digital convergence, and to promote the development of the Internet audiovisual service industry, maintain the diversification of audiovisual content, and safeguard audiovisual rights of the public, National Communications Commission ("NCC") has passed the draft "Internet Audiovisual Service Management Act ("Draft") on July 15, 2020 and has announced the Draft on July 22, 2020. The highlights of Draft are summarized as below:
1. Scope for the OTT service being regulated:
The term "Internet audiovisual service" ("OTT") defined in the Draft refers to the service where the edited and filtered video content is provided by service operator in its name to local viewers through the Internet for the operator's profits, such as Netflix. User Generated Content ("UGC") and shared information on social media platforms are not subject to the Draft, since the aforesaid contents are mainly edited and uploaded by the users themselves, rather than by the service operator.
(1) In principle, the Draft adopts voluntary registration mechanism, encouraging OTT operators to actively register with the NCC. Registered OTT operators will be subject to the requirements under the Draft accordingly.
(2) However, the Draft authorizes NCC to consider certain factors, such as the number of users, turnover, click flow, Internet traffic volume, market influence, and other significant public interests, to exceptionally require the OTT operators with any of the said nature to register. For the OTT operators that are obligated to register, they are required to establish a special page about its efforts made for local contents on its website disclosing its measures adopted for the local content it produced or co-produced and the ratio of local content in the current year to the public. For those obligated to register but without a fixed address of business in Taiwan, it is required to designate an agent in charge of handling the matters stipulated under the Draft and such OTT operator shall report the NCC about its agent's basic information, such as agent's name, agency period, and scope of agency.
Registered OTT operator is obligated to regularly report business information to the NCC, such as the number of subscribers, the sales revenue, and the conditions of use, and to publicly disclose related information and terms of service and use on its website. Besides, it should ensure the OTT content shall not disrupt public order or adversely affect good social customs, impair the physical or mental health of children or juvenile, or interferes with national security, and it should classify its content and adapt the clear and workable protective measures. In addition, it should jointly establish or join the self-regulatory organization, follow rules of the organization, and submit the self-regulatory rules set up by the organization to the NCC for review.
4. Special treatment to PRC and other illegal OTT operators:
5. Guidance and Awarding
The Draft explicitly states that the government should perform related measures of guidance and to award and propose encouragement projects, so as to promote continuous investment in locally-made content in Taiwan.
Please do not hesitate to contact our Telecommunications and Media practice group if you have further inquiry about the Draft.