21 April 2021
The Independent Media Commission (IMC) clarifies for the public opinion that, during the reporting of the IMC to the Committee on Local Government, Regional Development and Media of the Assembly of Kosovo, it was NOT requested to include issue of regulation of online media within the competencies of the IMC during the amendment process of IMC Law, as it was presented in the opinion through some news portals.
The IMC requested that in the process of amendment of the IMC Las, to be foreseen competencies in relation to audiovisual media services distributed through online platforms, as it is recommended in the Kosovo Progress Report for 2020 of the European Parliament and Council and based on the European Parliament and Council Directive 2018/1808 on Audiovisual Media Services.
Based on Kosovo Progress Report 2020 drafted by the European Council and European Parliament and Council Directive 2018/1808 on Audiovisual Media Services, the IMC proposed to the relevant Committee of the Assembly of Kosovo that during the process of amendment of the IMC Law to be foreseen competencies related to regulation of online audiovisual media services, including new services such as Catch up TV, Video on Demand, Web TV and Video Sharing Platforms.
In the Progress Report for 2020, among others, is emphasized that “IMC does not have the power to license and monitor audio-visual media services online, although these were already covered by the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive”.
According to the Report is also emphasized that “…but its powers should also be extended to online audio-visual media (e.g. Catch up TV, video on demand and web TV).
In the Directive 2018/1808 on Audiovisual Media Services is emphasized that, technical developments have allowed for new types of services and user experiences.
As a result, viewers' habits of viewing audiovisual content have also changed, emphasizing that especially young generation moved to portative devices to watch audiovisual content. New types of content, such as video clips or user-generated content, have gained an increasing importance and new players, including providers of video-on-demand services and video-sharing platforms, are now well-established. According to this Directive, this convergence of media requires an updated legal framework in order to reflect developments in the market and to achieve a balance between access to online content services, consumer protection and competitiveness.
Therefore, the IMC clarifies to the public opinion, journalists and all media that it is NOT about expanding its competencies in regulating online media (portals) but about online audiovisual media services, as it is explained above.
The proposal of the IMC, for amendment of the Law on the IMC is based on Kosovo Progress Report for 2020 of the Council of Europe as well as on the AVMS Directive 2018/1808.
Therefore, the IMC remains in disposal of the public and stakeholders to provide clarifications at any time related to the proposals that have been made, regarding the drafting and amendment of legislation regulating the media field.
INDEPENDENT MEDIA COMMISSION