The Law Amending the Organic Communications Law was published in Official Register Supplement No. 432 on February 20, 2019. The main amendments are:
- Elimination of the concept of “media lynching”.
- Elimination of the obligation for the media to publish statements and arguments from all of the involved parties in cases concerning events subject to investigation or judicial processes.
- Introduction of a special protection by the media and the State for media workers who risk their lives due to their professional activities.
- Elimination of the Superintendency of Information and Communication.
- False advertising will be suspended in accordance with the Organic Consumer Protection Law and the Organic Law for Regulation of Market Power.
- Elimination of the obligation for the media to have an ombudsman for the public.
- Establishes the concept of communications self-regulation; defined as a balance between responsibility and freedom of information, which will become a reality through the creation of voluntary regulation codes.
- Establishes new regulations on advertising:
- The amendment makes a distinction between propaganda and advertising. It defines propaganda as a model of unilateral social dissemination that uses a variety of mass, collective, inter-group and institutional media and means for the transfer of information, to spread messages structured by particular entities with the intention of persuading their target audiences to know, think, feel or act following certain ideologies; while advertisingshould be understood as all forms of communication made in the framework of a commercial, industrial, artisanal or liberal activity for the purposes of promoting the supply of goods or the provision of services, including real property and rights and obligations thereof.
- Changes are made to the parameters for defining advertising disseminated in the media as domestic production; the norm establishes that advertising must be produced“in Ecuadorian territory by Ecuadorian individuals or foreigners who are resident in Ecuador, or produced abroad by Ecuadorians who are resident in foreign countries or by foreign legal entities in which an Ecuadorian(s) has a majority shareholding or when the workforce who make and produce the advertising is made up of at least 80% Ecuadorian nationals”.
- The penalty for non-compliance with this provision is eliminated from Article 98 of the Organic Communications Law.
- The obligation to transmit content that is at least 50% Ecuadorian is extended to journalistic content of domestic productions.
- The concept of “domestic production” is updated to include works produced outside of Ecuador by Ecuadorians who are resident in foreign countries.
Warning: This newsletter by Pérez Bustamante & Ponce (PBP) is not and cannot be used as legal advice or opinion since it is merely of an informative nature.