Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) welcomes the publication of the finalised General Scheme of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill today by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, T.D.
We note that the General Scheme of the Bill includes the provisions of the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) which Ireland is obliged to implement without delay. These provisions include the opportunity for Ireland to introduce a content levy and specific investment obligation on online media services targeting Ireland, like Netflix or Disney Plus, which would then fund original Irish content and a new 30% European works quota on these same services along with other changes.
The Bill also reforms the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) into the Media Commission. It is this Commission that would then administer the AVMSD obligations such as the content levy and European Works quota.
SPI is concerned that there is no clear timelines or levy percentages as part of the General Scheme of the Bill and have called on the Government to introduce these to the final draft of the Bill when it comes to the Oireachtas. Many European countries have already introduced a content levy and / or investment obligation on these services.
It is imperative that we do not delay acting on this opportunity and miss out on funding to produce original Irish stories and create employment in the Film and TV industry.