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Influencers and the new General Law on Audiovisual Communication

ODICE LAWYERS

The advancement of technology and the digital revolution we are currently experiencing has consolidated mass communication, especially in the social media sector.

This situation has led to the proliferation of so-called "influencers", "bloggers" or "streamers", who have managed to make audiovisual communication in social networks and on social media platforms streamingtheir livelihood.

The new realities that have arisen as a result of this progress have led to the necessary adaptation and updating of the existing regulations in this area, thus approving the Law 13/2022 of 7 July, General Law on Audiovisual Communication.

What is the new General Law on Audiovisual Communication?

This regulation seeks to define the audiovisual media by creating and extending existing obligations in relation to new players in this juicy market.

The spirit is to promote that all audiovisual content is subject to certain rules of respect for certain constitutional values, administrative processes and to establish accountability for certain violent, pornographic and discriminatory content on the basis of gender or disability.

In this way, the aim is to avoid parcels and actors that escape control and thus establish an express and directly applicable regulation of mass communication.

The Law 13/2022 of 7 July on General Audiovisual Communication includes, as the main novelty, the extension of audiovisual communication obligations to new players operating in this sector, with a special section on the influencers.

 Who is affected by this law?

It should be noted that compared to the previous regime, which only included obligations for free-to-air DTT, the current regime also includes all free-to-air DTT. influencers working through video-sharing service platforms. These users are defined as "Users of particular relevance using video-sharing platform services".

Specially Relevant User and Law 13/2022

This category of audiovisual market players includes all those who meet the following requirements:

  • Service providers that have a return in the form of economic income.
  • Be editorially responsible for audiovisual content.
  • Services provided to the general public with a clear impact on them.
  • The purpose or objective of the service must be the distribution of audiovisual content for the purpose of:
    • Report
    • Educate
    • Entertain
  • It must be a service provided in Spain through electronic communications networks.

User obligations of particular relevance.

All those who meet the above requirements are within the scope of application of the regulation and are subject to a number of obligations.

The first is to register in the State Register of Audiovisual Communication Service Providers.

In addition, they must comply with a number of principles in the publication of their content:

  • Respect for human dignity.
  • Respect for constitutional values
  • Promote an image free of stereotypes of people with disabilities.
  • Promote and ensure gender equality in its content.
  • Promote media literacy.
  • Have a code of conduct and guidelines to guide their actions and the content of their publications.
  • When posting opinions, videos or other content, take into account the possible impact on the development of minors who are followers of the Influencer, establishing appropriate warnings about this content and setting aside content that contains gratuitous violence and/or pornography.

What happens if I fail to comply with any of the obligations?

Not everything goes in audiovisual communication. For this reason, a series of behaviours constituting an administrative infringement are established for the purposes of this Law.

The law provides for several types of infringements These range from the "very serious", such as the broadcasting of content that incites terrorism, to the so-called "minor", such as non-compliance with non-essential conditions of the broadcasting licence for audiovisual content.

The penalties provided for are essentially economic sanctions and revocation of licences. The financial penalties are set according to the economic capacity of the offender, the most serious sanction being a fine of 1.5 million 50 million a year, and the smallest, a fine of 10,000 euros.

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