On 5 May 2020, the Hungarian parliament adopted an amendment to the E-commerce Act transposing into national law the regulatory framework on video-sharing platforms (VSPs) included in Directive (EU) 2018/1808 amending Directive 2010/13/EU (AVMS Directive).
In line with the revised AVMS Directive, the new Hungarian legislation defines video-sharing platform service as a standalone service category. The National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) gained supervisory powers over VSP providers and have been authorised to act in actual cases and impose strict sanctions. The new sanctioning powers include the prohibition of the "infringing" conduct, suspension of service for up to one week, imposition of a fine of up to HUF 100 million and the deletion the VSP provider from the registry.
For registration purposes, VSP providers who fall under the jurisdiction of Hungary will be obliged to register with the NMHH, although registration is not a prerequisite to commence the provision of the service. The registration procedure is the same for electronic communications service providers.
The measures to be taken by VSP providers are in line with the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and must serve the protection of:
- minors from content and commercial communication, which may impair their physical, mental or moral development;
- users from content including incitement to violence, hatred or discrimination;
- users from content of which the dissemination would be a criminal offense (e.g. content containing child pornography) or incitement to a crime;
- users from user-generated commercial communications infringing on Hungarian media advertising regulation.
VSP providers must also comply with the regulation on advertisements set out in the Hungarian Media Act in regard to their own commercial communication. In line with the AVMS Directive, VSP providers should use effective technical procedures and tools to meet the above requirements, including clauses inserted in the general terms and conditions of service, age verification, parental control, processes to flag and report infringing content, the handling and resolution of user complaints and enabling users to declare commercial communication in the content they upload.
The exemption of liability rules for intermediaries are extended to VSP providers accordingly; and the safe harbour provisions in the Hungarian E-Commerce Act are also applicable.
The use of co-regulation and the fostering of self-regulation are endorsed by the new regulation. In the framework of an administrative agreement concluded with the NMHH, the self-regulating bodies of VSP providers may be granted authorisation to act in a self-regulatory procedure towards its members and other persons submitting themselves to the co-regulatory regime, in respect to the competences of the NMHH. Consequently, in cases specified in the administrative agreement, official law enforcement draws off to make space for self-regulation and co-regulation.
The new rules enter into force on 12 June 2020. VSP providers already operating are obliged to register with the NMHH within 60 days. In respect to the remaining obligations, VSP providers will have 150 days to comply.
For more information on this decree and the provisions of the Hungarian state of emergency, contact your regular CMS advisor or local CMS experts: