Topic: “Regulating Online Streaming Sites and Its Implications”
3:30pm-4:00 pm via Zoom Manila time for the forum
“Crossroads: At the Intersection of Law and Society”
(Part 2: Law and the Digital World)
today Oct. 25, 2020
Preliminary Question: Does the MTRCB have jurisdiction to regulate online streaming sites?
Pertinent provisions below:
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1986 (CREATING THE MOVIE AND TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD)
WHEREAS, the movie and television industry has been beset with manifold and multifarious problems accented by its nebulous stance towards the Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television reorganized under Executive Order No. 876-A;
Section 3. Powers and Functions. – The BOARD shall have the following functions, powers and duties:
b) To screen, review and examine all motion pictures as herein defined, television programs, including publicity materials such as advertisements, trailers and stills, whether such motion pictures and publicity materials be for theatrical or non-theatrical distribution, for television broadcast or for general viewing, imported or produced in the Philippines, and in the latter case, whether they be for local viewing or for export;
(DEFINITION OF TERMS UNDER THIS LAW)
“Section 10. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall mean:
“1.Motion Picture –
A series of pictures projected in a screen in rapid succession, with objects shown in successive positions slightly changed so as to produce the optical effect of a continuous picture in which the objects move, whether the picture be black and white or colored, silent or with accompanying sound, on whatever medium and with whatever mechanism or equipment they are projected, and in whatever material they are preserved or recorded for instant projection, for the purpose of this Act, the material in which the motion picture is contained, preserved, or recorded, forms an integral part of the motion picture subject of this Act.”
NOTES: This is the same provision quoted and cited by the MTRCB Chair to say that her agency has jurisdiction to regulate the content shown on Netflix and other video streaming apps.
It is the correct provision but it is being quoted without understanding the text and context. Using textual (the words of the law) and contextual analysis (socio-historical: its enactment in 1985 or the so-called analog age), it is evident that: “Motion Picture” as used in this law and by the words of the law itself, is that which is “projected in a screen” and “on whatever medium…they are projected…” Projected in a screen means with the use of a projector. Here is what a “projected in a screen” and “projector” mean (textually and contextually):
The plain and common definition of a projector: :”object that is used to project rays of light, especially an apparatus with a system of lenses for projecting slides or film onto a screen.” (Oxford Dictionary).
In other words, it makes us of literal rays of lights in order to literally shine or beam an image by using the light that passes thru a slide or negative, creating shadows and shapes and images which, when shown successively in thousands of fast-moving frames, create the illusion of movement.