In December, when I listened to all the public drama, the outcry about the new media law of the Hungarians, which took the Council rotating Presidency for Q1/Q2 2011, I thought, I’ve seen that before, would not surprise me at all if they implement European law.
Everyone is fast to make judgements about Hungary although no translation of the Hungarian law was available, just the angry curses of Hungarian civil society groups and the laughter of rapper Ice-T, the first “victim” of their “illiberal” media regulation
Here is something for you to study carefully, the European DIRECTIVE 2010/13/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive, in short: AVMSD):
1. Member States shall ensure that audiovisual commercial communications provided by media service providers under their jurisdiction comply with the following requirements:
(a) audiovisual commercial communications shall be readily recognisable as such. Surreptitious audiovisual commercial communication shall be prohibited;
(b) audiovisual commercial communications shall not use subliminal techniques;
(c) audiovisual commercial communications shall not:
(i) prejudice respect for human dignity;
(ii) include or promote any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, nationality, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation
(iii) encourage behaviour prejudicial to health or safety;
(iv) encourage behaviour grossly prejudicial to the protection of the environment;
(d) all forms of audiovisual commercial communications for cigarettes and other tobacco products shall be prohibited;
(e) audiovisual commercial communications for alcoholic beverages shall not be aimed specifically at minors and shall not encourage immoderate consumption of such beverages;
(f) audiovisual commercial communication for medicinal products and medical treatment available only on prescription in the Member State within whose jurisdiction the media service provider falls shall be prohibited;
(g) audiovisual commercial communications shall not cause physical or moral detriment to minors. Therefore they shall not directly exhort minors to buy or hire a product or service by exploiting their inexperience or credulity, directly encourage them to persuade their parents or others to purchase the goods or services being advertised, exploit the special trust minors place in parents, teachers or other persons, or unreasonably show minors in dangerous situations.
That was just a random quote, there is more of it. My colleague Erik Josefsson now provides a translation of the Hungarian law in his wiki, it would not surprise me at all if it’s outrageous but stays fully in line with the current European acquis.
What if Commissioners find out what they (or their predecessors) did recently, and now has to get implemented in the member states?