Open Net Submitted an Opinion Opposing the Broadcasting Act Reform Bill Attempting to Regulate OTT Services as Broadcasting

by | Aug 14, 2019 | Free Speech, Press Release | 0 comments

On July 29, Representative Kim Sungsoo proposed Amendments to the Broadcasting Act that aims to incorporate OTT Business Operators under its regulatory scope. This Bill identifies OTT services as ‘Online Video Providing Business Operators’ and creates a separate content censorship standard. It also calls for the (1) reporting of the terms and conditions and notification to users (2) separation of contents and advertisements (3) assessment of competition status (4) application of regulation of forbidden acts (5) inclusion under the Broadcasting Dispute Conciliation Committee (6) obligatory submission of data (7) subjection to corrective order and disciplinary action.
Open Net has continuously voiced out its concerns over attempts to incorporate Internet media into the Broadcasting Act’s regulatory scope, including the previously proposed January Broadcasting Act Bill. The Internet is fundamentally different in nature and such regulation can seriously infringe free speech. Open Net calls on the National Assembly to reconsider, as the newly proposed Bill fails to identify such issues and rather expands the scope of OTT subjected to the Broadcasting Act.

Open Net’s Opposing Opinions on the Broadcasting Act Reform Bill (written in Korean)

Summary of the Opinions

Broadcasting is different from other media in that it unilaterally injects content into the viewers’ attention, that its ability to disseminate information is limited by the scarcity of eletro-magnetic frequencies considered public goods, etc.  It is the influence of the chosen few disseminators that extensive broadcasting regulation is justified in moderating.  In contrast, Internet is interactive and allows all users to disseminate information not unilaterally but only at the pleasure of people who choose to view them, and there is no public goods monopolized by the users or the platforms.  The Constitutional Court itself made that comparison, focusing on the “low entry barrier” and the need for “affirmative and pre-planned action” to view the material, and struck down the ban on electioneering as applied to online speech on the force of that comparison (99 Hunma 480 (2002)) (i.e., financial power will not unduly influence public opinion formed online around the elections).

Please read the Korean original here.


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