A completely new bill aimed at video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, Instagram or TikTok has been delivered to the Czech Parliament this August. Although it might seem that the bill proposed by Czech government is mainly related to the growing popularity of these platforms in connection with COVID-19 quarantine measures, the truth is that the bill in fact transposes EU legislation governing audiovisual media services (Directive (EU) 2018/1808).
In the Czech Republic, current legal regulation of media services on the Internet is scattered in several laws, which, however, do not sufficiently cover the platforms for sharing user-created video recordings. These platforms are thus significantly favoured over traditional media or audio-visual media services on demand (e.g. Netflix or HBO GO), which are subject to a number of obligations. The proposed bill on video-sharing platforms services should, in particular, help to straighten the above-mentioned differences in legal regulation.
The obligations of video-sharing platform service providers should newly include, in particular, the obligation to take appropriate measures to protect minors, prevent the dissemination of inflammatory or criminal content or regulate commercial communications, which, in this respect, should not differ too much from traditional media regulation.
In connection with the proposed bill, certain related acts should also be amended, while the services of the video-sharing platforms will be subject to obligations arising, for example, from the general Act on Regulation of Advertising. The supervisory authority to monitor compliance with the newly established obligations shall be the Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting, which shall be entitled to impose a fine of up to CZK 500,000 (approx. EUR 20,000) in the event of a breach.
However, given the current situation related to the COVID-19 epidemic, it is difficult to predict when and in which wording the proposed bill will finally be approved.