First, a hat tip to The Unlawyer for breaking down the issues succinctly.
Reading the draft NTC memorandum circular, one portion got my radar up. Actually two portions of the circular’s coverage raised my alert level. For registration and payment, the draft circular will cover, among others:
- Information service ““ includes all types of information delivered to/accessed by the users/subscribers, e.g. road traffic information, financial information, visa application information, etc.
- Content and Program service ““ includes all types of contents delivered to/ accessed by the users/subscribers such as music, ring tones, logos, video clips, etc.
A strained interpretation of this coverage (which is the exception and not the general rule in this part of the world) may place blogs as information and content of program service providers.
Take for example my personal blog. Technically, I deliver an information service, specifically, legal information, through my blog lectures to the users (or even subscribers, if they do so through RSS readers, etc.).
Then as regards the other non-legal entries in my blog (or any blog for that matter), I could be considered a content provider (since content has been conveniently defined to cover virtually everything).
So technically, I’m providing value-added services, whether I’m making money from my blogs or not (and I can assure you, I’m not and I still have a day job).
The money aspect is secondary. The registration aspect cuts through privacy issues. Will this circular force us bloggers into the virtual mountains, as in anonymous blog land? Or will this circular bring as back to the dark ages, when we used to put out deepest thoughts and feelings on (shudder…) a diary?
So IMHO, there’s really some basis for the uproar… and these guys are begging for lawsuits…