Government and the Industry in Disagreement Over Premium Content Regulation

Several content and service providers are in disagreement with the government regarding the revision of premium content regulation that the government is working on through the Ministry of Communications and Informatics and the Indonesia Telecommunications Regulatory Agency.

The regulation in question is the Order of the Minister for Communications and Informatics No. 1, 2009 regarding premium messaging and sms delivery to multiple recipients. One of the issues in dispute is article 23 that regulates the opt in policy for contents meant for multiple recipients.

As described by IndoTelko, the Ministry plans to implement this opt in policy which means to be able to broadcast SMS advertising, content service providers and operators must obtain permission from the receiving party. The permission may be granted through SMS and/or written statement.

Providers and operators are against this plan because it is tantamount to killing the mobile advertising business. They are proposing an opt out method which means premium content messages get delivered to every subscriber who can then choose to stop receiving them subsequently. A middle ground is also proposed by opt out through profiling. In this method, content is delivered to subscribers according to their classification after receiving their consent.

Content providers are seeking an open but responsible business arrangement. According to them, the increasing number of regulations will only set this creative industry back.

On the other hand, they seem to forget that there are many irresponsible companies in the business. These companies have been taking advantage of the freedom that has been granted to them and  harassing the consumers. It is because of them that premium content business was suspended en masse last October which ended up affecting even the responsible ones.

Looking at that mass deregistration process, it seems that regulations must exist, primarily as a boundary to determine which are the responsible companies and which aren't.

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