We shouldn’t have to pay the FPB licence fee – Netflix

Netflix

Netflix does not believe it should pay the FPB’s online content licence fee, as it is a service offered through the global web.

Netlifx’s comments follow the FPB’s publication of new draft tariff regulations – which propose price increases for classifying films, series, and games.

The FPB currently charges R795,000 for a “licensing fee for online distribution”. In February 2017, several online distributors refused to pay the fee – including Microsoft and Netflix.

Under the new regulations, the FPB wants to charge online distributors an annual fee per title on their platform. Netflix’s 2,005 movies and 691 series would cost it R1,076,979.

No charge

Netflix doesn’t believe the FPB has a right to regulate the Internet, and the content found on it.

However, Netflix said it does try to be a good player when it comes to local age restrictions – and as a rule it will comply with legitimate local regulations.

It will also attempt to work with local regulators to self-rate content. This allows Netflix to take a nimble approach to age restrictions.

“The whole benefit of Netflix is being able to watch our content anywhere in the world at the same time as everyone else,” said Netflix’s head of corporate communications for EMEA, Yann Lafargue.

If every piece of content Netflix plans on releasing has to be watched by committees of censors, global simultaneous releases won’t be possible.

For this reason, Netflix is conducting self-rating trials in markets like Australia and is open to similar discussions elsewhere.

“Over-regulation is never something good, at least not for users.”

It can also cause price increases, and may result in content creators finding it impossible to please all ratings bodies around the world.

There will always be someone who disagrees or finds fault with content, and if all those dissenting voices are listened to, it will impact on the freedom to create, said Lafargue.

Now read: What Netflix will get for its R1-million FPB licence fee

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  • Mani

    What a joke. The FPB should be disbanded.

  • Perplexed of Plett

    The anc will seek to find funds for their looting anywhere and everywhere. Sunshine and oxygen next?

  • Let it be known that the South African people stand with Netflix on this issue. The ANC government has always felt entitled to just go ahead and apply fees and regulations that the public doesn’t agree with. We’ve successfully passively refused them before (e-tolls), it can and should be done again now with the FPB

  • Cathal

    Wholly behind Netflix on this one. It’s good that they made a public statement regarding this. Hopefully it will give Valve (Steam) the courage to do likewise.

    Can’t remember the last time the FPB placed a useful rating on a BluRay I purchased. I honestly don’t see a point to their rating system.

    What they are intending, forcing payments on global services, will just harm the consumer in the end. Whether that be by taking away the services or increasing prices on the services. SA needs a serious look into “regulations” and laws such as these. That includes e-toll and the absurdity which is a TV Licence.

  • Neji

    NERSA is busy working on the sunshine….

  • That Guy Jon

    Ah FPB, you are not needed and should just accept it. We’ll bury you next to the TV Licence.

  • The public is not consulted anymore on something that would affect them, unlike in other democracies. What an old joke you are FPB.

  • Wurnman

    FPB is actually owned by DSTV and what better way to get rid of or make it difficult for other players in South African climate. ;0)

  • tjitah

    Water prices going up steeply. Just another form of taxation to compensate for their lack of planning and poor maintenance.

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We shouldn’t have to pay the FPB licence fee – Netflix

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