Youtubers will once again be in trouble, according to recent news, as PEMRA released a notice stating that Youtube License fees will now be compulsory for content creators.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a notice stating that a license fee will be paid to Youtubers across Pakistan. Youtube License is mandatory. The basic fee is PKR 50 lacs, and PKR 1 crore will be paid for creating content directly on current affairs topics.
Is Charging a Youtube License Fee a Good Approach by the Govt of Pakistan?
Not only will this move make our lawmakers a laughing stock in the digital media, but it will also be another blow against free speech. The recent wave of using social media to defame politicians motivates the strategy. Nonetheless, the proposal that the policy-makers have come up with is not in the right direction.
The government is implementing a strategy that will affect the industry as a whole to control one of the platform’s components. After YouTube was blocked in the country in September 2012 for three years, the price had to be paid by the content creators.
At that time, the idea of vlogging had just begun and there was space for learning and making mistakes, because everyone was an amateur. Pakistan missed the learning range and had to compete on an international market which had already tested the waters and developed its skills once the ban had been lifted. Our vloggers have managed to fill the void to a large extent, given these obstacles.
According to critics, this step was taken to shush out the YouTubers who are using their own platform to be very honest about things they can’t talk about on mainstream television. The notion of using digital media in this way was, and rightly so, dismissed by most corporations and influential people.
Legislation enforcement is what’s needed to prevent defamation. To protect individuals from such accidents, the laws are already in place on paper, but implementation is lagging. That is where the focus should be on making the laws and the system so clear that anyone who brings something like this to the limelight would be careful to use only credible data.
The recent launch of Digital Pakistan has been seen by the youth of the country as a great hope as it seeks to open doors and eradicate barriers previously encountered by those who want to make a career with their assistance, but policies like these are only counterproductive to such programes.