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