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Protection of Minors: Norway adopts platform independent legislation

posted on 06 January, 2015   (public)

Protection of Minors: Norway adopts platform independent legislation

During a second reading which took place on 15 December 2014, the Norwegian Parliament adopted a new law on the protection of minors against harmful content in audiovisual programmes. The Ministry of Culture had presented a White Paper to Parliament proposing to establish a new Act on the protection of minors on 20 June 2014, the first reading in the Parliament  happened on 10 December.

The new law introduces a platform independent approach, whereby provisions regarding protection of minors are unified in one Act regardless of platform. The same protection tools will apply to all platforms (within the scope of the Act).

The Act will apply to the communication of audiovisual programmes and connected material to the general public through:

  • (Linear) television
  • On-demand audiovisual media services
  • Screenings at a public gathering in Norway (including at a cinema or other screening facility)
  • Making videograms available in Norway (including free distribution of DVD/Blu-ray).

With regard to protection tools, all audiovisual programmes have to be classified with an age limit. The law introduces a duty to:

  • uphold the age limit
  • inform the public about the age limit (including a duty to label all audiovisual programmes with the set age limit).

Concerning classification, the age limits for cinematographic works shall be set by the Norwegian Media Authority, whereas those for all audiovisual programmes shall be set by the distributor of the programme on the basis of guidelines drawn up by the Norwegian Media Authority.

Finally the Act introduces new age limits: 'All', '6', '9', '12', '15' and '18'.

The Norwegian Media Authority will now develop regulations and guidelines for the implementation of the new provisions and conduct information campaigns aimed at industry and the public during 2015.

The Act will come into force no earlier than 1 July 2015.

Source: Norwegian Media Authority (Medietilsynet)