23 Apr 2017

Law to regulate video-on-demand likely later this year

5:39 pm on 23 April 2017

The government says it hopes to introduce legislation to regulate video-on-demand broadcasting later this year.

Censors report

Work to regulate video-on-demand had been complex due to the need for the law to be future-proofed, said Maggie Barry. Photo: Supplied

The retiring Chief Censor, Andrew Jack, has called for urgent action to regulate the new forms of broadcasting such as Netflix.

The government announced it would introduce legislation on the issue last August, but hasn't yet done so.

The Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, Maggie Barry, said the government intends to introduce the law change this year and refer it to a select committee.

She said the work had been complex, as the law needed to be future-proofed to allow for technological changes in the future.

Ms Barry said the new law would still exclude user-generated content and print media from regulation.

Deputy Chief Censor Jared Mullen recently said Netflix was able to circumvent the censorship office to air controversial show 13 Reasons Why, which showed a need for the law to be clarified.

The censor's office classification of the show would come nearly a month after it was released.

Print media are regulated by an industry body, the Press Council.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs