Covid-19: Measures addressing providers of audiovisual media services in the Americas 27 April 20

COVID-19 is revealing the importance to provide citizens with access to authoritative information on the spread of the virus and on the emergency measures taken by governments in the different countries of the Americas.

Cullen International has just published a report covering measures taken by governments and regulators in some of the countries most hit by the health emergency. These measures mainly seek to avoid the spread of online disinformation, to mitigate some of the negative effects of the pandemic on the audiovisual/cinema industry and to ensure that citizens have access to essential/specific audiovisual services during the lockdown.

In the countries covered by the report, Brazil is the only country where draft legislation has been introduced in parliament which aims to hold online apps liable for not fighting disinformation, to hold individuals liable for disseminating false information on health issues, and to require online service providers to remove fake news on health matters.

Only three countries (Brazil, Canada and Colombia) have taken measures to mitigate the economic impact of the lockdown on the cinema and audiovisual industry. Examples are: 

  • funds to support national productions and audiovisual companies and workers;
  • relaxed administrative requirements to access production funds;
  • suspension of the payment of licensing fees;
  • reduced broadcasting quotas.

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