Kremlin’s new draft bill seeks to restrict foreign ownership in OTT

The bill submitted to the State Duma aims to regulate audiovisual services and restrict foreign capital in OTT to 20%, as was previously done for mass media
Kremlin’s new draft bill seeks to restrict foreign ownership in OTT
01 December 08:00 2016 Print This Article

A bill aimed at regulating work of over-the-top services (OTT), like online video and music streaming, including online cinemas, has been submitted to Russia’s State Duma, the parliament’s lower house.

The draft’s authors, namely Andrei Lugovoi and Shamsail Saraliev, propose to restrict foreign capital in Russian OTT to 20% (the limit already exists for mass media providers) and create an appropriate register for such services that have over 100 thousand users per month in the country, according to a document available on the website of the State Duma.

“The bill seeks to regulate activity of audiovisual services aimed at Russian audience. That refers to a service that monetize their work with ads providing video content to domestic consumers on a subscription and/or fee, and aimed for users living in Russia,” reads the document.

The bill is similar to a law signed by President Vladimir Putin in 2014 that restricted the ownership of foreign broadcasters and publishers to 20% by the end of 2016.

The document was submitted to the State Duma on Nov. 25. To become law, it must be approved by the parliament and signed by the president. In case of its adoption, it will enter into force on March 2017.

Yesterday, Nov. 30, Kommersant business daily wrote citing a legal committee of the Russian Media-Communication Union and other sources that YouTube may leave Russia should the bill pass.

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