SCREENING AND COMPLIANCE OF CONTENT

In 2009, MGAP Attorneys at Law became the first Russian legal firm to provide a unique screening service for clients in the Russian media field.  By 2011, our experience of providing this service had grown into a special Screening and Compliance practice.

Overview

  • Different requirements for mass media organisations (TV, newspapers, etc.) and others (cinema, theatres, websites, online stores, VOD, etc.)
  • Specific requirements for advertisement content
  • Ongoing development of restrictions depending on current social and political environment
  • Unwritten restrictions (concerning content on politics, religion, World War II).

Core legal issues

  • Strong language
  • Showing tobacco
  • Drugs and/or drugs promotion
  • Violence and cruelty
  • Information on means of committing suicide
  • Public calls for participation in unapproved meetings
  • Child protection legislation: proper age labelling, restrictions on broadcast timings.
  • A list of content restricted for children, including propaganda of ‘non-traditional’ (gay) sexual relations
  • Dissemination and promotion of pornography
  • Extremism, separatism, etc.

Who does the present legislation on content affect and why?

 

  1. Producers and rights’ holders:
  • Assessment of the Russian market as a platform for distribution
  • Cost and time efficient adaptation of content in accordance with local requirements and restrictions (mainly language, product placement, and age labelling)
  • Fulfilment of contractual obligations regarding content with local distributors, where applicable
  1. Mass media organisations:
  • Strict restrictions on content distributed via mass media
  • Recent tightening of legislation on mass media and enforcement practice (restriction of commercials on pay TV, limitation of shares in non-Russian entities and individuals in Russian mass media organisations, etc.)
  • Two warning letters from the regulatory authority within a year are grounds for termination of business for a mass media organisation;
  1. Pay TV channels:
  • Pay TV channels are mass media organisations
  • From 1 January, 2015, commercials are prohibited on pay TV
  • Product placement, cross-promo campaigns and other indirect advertisements on pay TV are considered to be in breach of the law
  1. Cinema theatres:
  • The showing of films containing strong language is prohibited in cinemas.

 

MGAP’s experience includes

  • Advising foreign TV channels on compliance with mass media and advertising requirements
  • Advising major Russian production and distribution companies on various business issues in the course of production, promotion and distribution of motion pictures
  • Advising a major US film studio on parental ratings for motion pictures
  • Advising a popular looped video service with over 45 million users per month on advertising matters.