PEMRA’s Proposed Regulations on Web TV and OTT are Problematic: Here Are the Reasons Why??

PEMRA’s Proposed Regulations on Web TV and OTT are Problematic: Here Are the Reasons Why??

PEMRA recently proposed regulations about Web TV and Over the Top TV and PEMRA did not expect reactions what it’s been getting since the proposal of regulations.

Currently, many negative and shear misinformation are around. A little familiar website “NEWS DESK” published an article about how Youtube content creators will require license from the competent authority and will have to pay RS. 50 lac to RS. 1 Crore.

 

Most of the negative press and sheer misinformation being spread comes from an article published on a little-known site called “News Desk”. They published a piece about how Youtube content creators would need a license that would cost between Rs. 50 lakhs and Rs. 1 crore.

Here is the timeline of events,

8th January: PEMRA introduces a paper on consultancy to regulate Web TV and Over the Top TV services on social media in Pakistan.

23rd January: PEMRA called upon all potential stakeholders. PEMRA get the feedback on document from the stakeholders of the industry.

31st January: A website publishes a sensational piece of article. However, this site is not trustworthy.

If you are a Youtube content creator, there is no need to panic now so with mild reassurance aside, let’s have a look over the PEMRA’s paper itself. However, it is worth mentioning that I m not sure why PEMRA is leading on these regulations because the agency responsible for regulating digital media is PTA not PEMRA. However, PTA already casts a strict eye over the online content in accordance with Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016. So, PEMRA cannot enact any Web TV or OTT regulations. However, PEMRA says, these regulation will be implemented with close coordination of PTA. A big question arises here is that why two agencies will work together to implement regulations? Why they both work together over the same assignment? Don’t we have enough and competent bureaucracy???

Secondly, this is a draft document and last iteration may look too much different from the first draft. These are only proposed regulations which only explain what other countries do in this field and to get the feedback from stakeholder what is possible for when of Pakistan. So, it is premature to say anything what Government is and is not going to do. Furthermore, PEMRA asked for feedback not for the criticism.

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