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Taiwan: Discussions about NCC draft law

The National Communications Commission (NCC) in Taiwan held its second hearing on Sept. 20th, 2007, to discuss the second draft of a new communication law. This new law will integrate the three communication laws — the Satellite and Broadcasting Law, Cable Radio and the Television Law, and Broadcasting and Television Law.

From Newstory :

通訊及傳媒產業從八O年代產生三大面向的發展:媒體「匯流」、「全球化」及「解除管制」,而通訊傳播管理法就是NCC因時制宜下的產物。

There are three perspectives of development of telecommunication and media industries after 1980s: convergence, globalization, and lifting restrictions. This new communication law is legislated by NCC based on the spirit.

On the other hand, NCCwatch, a civil group, is afraid that this trend encourages monopoly in the media industry. Since media is considered to be a carrier for culture, we must pay attention to its content. As a result, after the second hearing, NCCwatch claimed there are some serious problems in the second draft of the law:

一、反對NCC刪除徵收業者「特種基金」:[…]未來業者將不必負擔公共責任(將營業額百分之一成立基金)。[…]

二、反對NCC不當開放外資:[…]此舉不但對本地影視產業發展及勞工權益並無助益,未來本地文化及我國的文化主權也將受到嚴重戕害! […]

三、反對NCC取消跨媒體經營的限制:[…]放任跨媒體所有權集中,未來台灣媒體壟斷將更為嚴重。[…]

四、反對NCC降低業者違法之罰鍰:[…]不僅對改善媒體亂象全然無益,消費者權益將會受到嚴重侵犯![…]

五、反對NCC刪除本國自製節目比例明確規定 […]

(1)We are against repealing of the special fee (for the government) collected from the media operators.[…] Without the special fee (1 % of the media operators’ turn over), the media operators do not have social responsibility any more.[…]

(2)We are against allowing overseas investors to own a very high percentage (49%) of shares in the nation's broadcast television companies. […] This act will not benefit local media industries and our labors, and it will damage our culture and our identity.[…]

(3)We are against lifting the restrictions that prevent corporations to run different kinds of media.[…] This act will encourage centralization of the media's ownership and will aggravate the monopolization in media industry.[…]

(4)We are against reducing the penalties drastically for the media operators for breaking the law.[…] This act cannot protect consumers from being assaulted by low-quality media.[…]

(5)We are against lifting the regulation that specifies the exact percentage of television programs to be locally produced.[…]

Newstory also discussed some articles in the second draft of the new law that raised concerns, which can be summarized into three points:

(1) “條文「頻道事業提供之節目或廣告,不得有煽動族群仇恨或性別岐視情形」,[…]如果沒有認定標準,這項條文很難執行。”

The article ‘the contents and advertisements provided by broadcast corporations should not abet conflicts between ethics groups'[…] is void if we do not have a definition for ‘abetting conflicts between ethics groups.’

(2) “現行規定廣告總時間不得超過每一節目播送總時間六分之一,[…]現改為每日廣告時間不得超過播送時間的六分之一 。”

The current regulation for the length of advertisement is less than 1/6 of each program,[…] but it is changed to be less than 1/6 of the whole broadcast time.

(3) “草案新增除新聞與兒童節目外,允許置入性廣告,但必須要在畫面上呈現「廣告」或「贊助者」字樣。 “

In the draft, product placement advertisements are allowed except in news and in programs for children, but they should show ‘advertisement’ or ‘sponsor’ on the screen.

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