Dubai (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Saudi authorities plan to regulate local
companies producing content for YouTube,
this in the world's top per capita user of the video-sharing website.
over state broadcasters' staid programming and societal restrictions have
created a uniquely captive audience for web-based entertainment.
Authority for Audiovisual Media, a recently formed watchdog, will soon
issue a manifesto to organise - or regulate - the work of YouTube channels, said its president, Ryiadh Najm.
The plan will
include rules and conditions that will be "in accordance with the nature of
society and laws in this context", Najm said, whilst allowing it to embrace "these talents and
developing their artistic and technical abilities".
The proposed new
rules follow a new Saudi law that defines as terrorist any act that "disturbs
public order, shakes the security of society, or subjects its national unity to
danger, or obstructs the primary system of rule or harms the reputation of the
Until now, Saudi
YouTube programme makers have been able
to operate without a licence because they are not actual broadcasters.
Channels like UTURN
Entertainment and C3 have attracted more than 500 million views for their
various YouTube shows as of
"Until we see
the details, it's a bit alarming, a threat for us," said Kaswara Al Khatib,
chairman and chief executive of UTURN Entertainment.
"The whole idea
is to regulate it in a way to make sure where the areas are to be played with
and the areas that should not be touched," said Al Khatib.