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In a tweet, Nighat Dad, the Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation announced that the Human Rights Committee at Senate had expressed that PEMRA has no jurisdiction or authority to regulate any online content which also includes the issuance of YouTube licenses.

Nighat Dad who is also a lawyer and a human rights activist stated: “Human Rights committee at Senate unanimously held that PEMRA lacks jurisdiction & has no authority under the PEMRA Ordinance to regulate online content & issue licenses to content creators.”

Earlier, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a suggestion announcing that a license fee should be charged from digital content creators including web channels, Over The Top TV content services ( OTT ) that also includes YouTube channels across Pakistan.

The fee of the YouTube License was suggested to be Rs 5 million for all digital content creators and in case your content deals with topics of current affairs the fee is around Rs 10 million which leads to panic among the digital creators.

Content creators around the globe practice freedom of speech. The license fee, if applied, will become a hurdle for a lot of creators to express their rights.

Nighat also tweeted, “Concerns regarding the impact on the digital economy and independent content creators were also raised & how it is opposed to the vision of #DigitalPakistan. CSOs pointed out that such regulation goes against the spirit of article 19 which guarantees the right to free expression.”

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