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TH I R D Year  I   -­‐   Nº   22   Quito,  Tuesday  June   25,  2013   Price:  US$  1.25  +  VAT  

       

 

 

ING.  HUGO  DEL  POZO  BARREZUETA   DIRECTOR   Quito:  Avenida  12  de  Octubre   N  16-­‐90  and  Pasaje  Nicolás   Jiménez  

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Legislative Branch

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

             

ORGANIC LAW OF COMMUNICATION


2 -- Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013

     

   

 

 

 

         

 

Doc. No. T.6369-SNJ-13-543 Quito, June 21, 2013 Engineer HUGO DEL POZO BARREZUETA Director of the Registro Oficial Please be advised: Through document No. PAN-GR-2013-0175 of June 17, 2013, received on the 18th of the same month and year, Ms. Gabriela Rivadeneira Burbano, President of the National Assembly, submitted the draft “ORGANIC LAW OF COMMUNICATION,” to be sanctioned or rejected. In this context, inasmuch as the aforesaid draft law has been sanctioned, pursuant to sub-paragraph 3 of Article 137 of the Constitution of the Republic, and sub-paragraph 1 of Article 63 of the Organic Law of the Legislative Branch, I hereby submit to you the aforementioned Law, in the original and a certified copy, together with the respective certificate of discussion, for their publication in the Registro Oficial [‘Official Register’]. Furthermore, once the publication in question has been completed, I ask that you kindly undertake to send the original to the National Assembly for such purposes as may be appropriate.

signed) Rafael Correa Delgado, CONSTITUTIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC Attachment indicated

as

cc. Sra. Gabriela Rivadeneira Burbano, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.

REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR

CERTIFICATION

 

 

 

In the constitutional State of rights and justice, pursuant to the principles and standards of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, the rights to communication are recognized, which include: freedom of expression, information and access on equal terms to the radioelectric spectrum, to information and communications technologies;  

Article 384 of the Constitution of the Republic establishes that the system of social communication must ensure the exercise of the rights to communication, information and freedom of expression, and strengthen citizen participation;  

It is necessary to create appropriate legislative mechanisms for the full and effective exercise of the right to communication of all persons, individually or collectively;    

It is indispensable to provide a regime of specialized legislation to foster the exercise of the rights of free, intercultural communication that is inclusive, diverse, participatory, in all spheres of social interaction, by any medium or in any form, in one’s own language, and with one’s own symbols;  

Sincerely, GOD, COUNTRY AND LIBERTY

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

 

REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR PLENARY OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY WHEREAS: The first transitory provision of the Constitution of the Republic published in Registro Oficial No. 449 of October 20, 2008, requires the legislative branch to approve the Law of Communication;

Acting in my capacity as Secretary General of the National Assembly, I take this opportunity to CERTIFY that the Draft ORGANIC LAW OF COMMUNICATION, was discussed and passed on the following dates: FIRST DEBATE: SECOND DEBATE:

December 22, 2009 and January 5, 2010 November 16, 22 & 24, 2011, April 11, 2012 a n d J u n e 14, 2013. Quito, June 17, 2013.

signed) DRA. LIBIA RIVE O., Secretary General.

Through the promotion and creation of social communications media, access is guaranteed on an equal footing to the use of the frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum for the management of public, private and community radio and television stations;  

It is necessary to make use of constitutional, legal and technical mechanisms to ensure access and use of all forms of visual, auditory, sensory and other kinds of communication that allow for the inclusion of persons with disabilities;  

The strengthening of legal instruments concerned with communication shall guarantee the allocation of the frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum, for the management of public, private and community radio and television stations through transparent methods and on equal terms, seeing to it, moreover, that the public interest shall prevail in their use;   It is necessary to establish the juridical tools to facilitate the creation and strengthening of public, private and community communications media;  

It is a matter of justice to prevent direct and indirect oligopoly or monopoly ownership of the communications media, and the use of the frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum;  

At the initiative of the President of the Republic, the Economist Rafael Correa Delgado, Ecuadorean women and men were called upon to express themselves in the popular


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 3 consultation of May 7, 2011, o n i s s u e s related to communication and its regulation, and massively supported the eradication of the influence of the economic power and political power of the communications media, as well as improvement in the quality of the content disseminated by the communications media, and the establishment of legal consequences to prevent an abusive a n d irresponsible u s e of freedom of expression; and, In the exercise of the faculties indicated in sub-section 6 of Article 120; and sub-section 2 of Article 133 of the Constitution of the Republic, now issues the following: ORGANIC LAW OF COMMUNICATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TITLE I Preliminary provisions and definitions Art. 1.- Purpose a n d scope.- T h e purpose of this law is to develop, protect and regulate in the administrative sphere the exercise of the constitutionally established rights to communication. Art. 2.- Ownership and enforceability of rights.- All Ecuadorean and foreign persons who reside on a regular basis in the national territory are holders of the rights established in this Law, without regard to their position in public management or private economic activity, as well Ecuadoreans who live abroad on terms and within ranges such that they are subject to Ecuadorean jurisdiction. Art. 3.- Content of communication.- For the purposes of this Law, content shall be understood to refer to a n y t y p e o f information or opinion that may be produced, received, disseminated or exchanged through social communications media. Art. 4.- Personal content on the internet.- This Law d o e s not regulate information or opinion issued personally over the internet. This provision does not preclude criminal or civil actions that may result from infractions of other laws that are committed over the internet. Art. 5.Social communications media.- For the purposes of this Law, social communications media are considered to be the public, private and community enterprises and organizations, as well as licensees of radio and television frequencies that provide the public service of mass communication, using as a tool the print media or radio and television services and audio and video by subscription whose content can be generated or reproduced by communications media over the internet. Art. 6.- National social communications media.- The audiovisual media acquire a national character when their coverage reaches 30% or more of the country’s population, based on the m ost recent national census; or, if the system is made up of a primary transmitter and six or more relay stations whose coverage reaches the populations of two or more natural regions of the country. The national print media acquire the same status whenever a publication circulates in one or more

provinces of the territory of the Republic of Ecuador, whose population, individually or jointly, accounts for 30 % or more of the total inhabitants of the country, based on the most recent national census.

 

To calculate and verify adjustment to the parameter established above, all companies that operate in the same national audiovisual or print media, whether directly, in the form of regional editions, or with any other mechanism, shall be considered jointly.

 

The national social communications media may not belong in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, to foreign organizations or companies based outside the Ecuadorean State, or to foreign citizens, except for those foreign citizens who reside on a regular basis in the national territory.

 

Art. 7.- Information of public relevance o r of general interest.- This is information disseminated through the communications media concerning public affairs and matters of general interest.

 

Information or content considered to be entertainment that is disseminated through the communications media acquires the status of information of public relevance, whenever the rights or honor of persons, or other constitutionally established rights, are violated in such content.

 

Art. 8.- Prevalence in the dissemination of content.- The communications media, generally speaking, shall primarily disseminate content of an informative, educational and cultural character. This content must tend to be of good quality and disseminate the fundamental values and rights enshrined in the Constitution and international instruments of human rights.

 

Art. 9.- Codes of ethics.The public, private and community communications media must issue their own codes of ethics aimed at improving their internal management practices and their work in communication. These codes must take into consideration the standards established in Article 10 of this Law. Codes of ethics may not take the place of the law.

 

TITLE II Principles and rights

 

CHAPTER I Principles

  Art. 10.- Ethical standards.All natural or juridical persons participating in the communications process must take into consideration the following minimum standards, in accordance with the actual characteristics of the media they use to disseminate information and opinion:

 

1.

   

With regard to human dignity: a.

To respect the honor and reputation of persons;

b.

To abstain from making and disseminating discriminatory content and comments; and,

c.

To respect personal and family privacy.

 


4 -- Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013

   

2.

With relation to groups of priority attention: a.

 

b.

 

c.

 

d.

 

e.

 

f.

   

 

           

 

3.

Not to incite boys, girls a n d adolescents to emulate behavior that is harmful or hazardous to their health; To abstain from using a n d disseminating identifying images o r statements that assault the dignity o r rights o f persons with serious diseases or disabilities; To avoid positive or encouraging representations o f scenes in which persons with physical or mental disabilities are ridiculed; To abstain from issuing identifying images or mentions of boys, girls and adolescents as perpetrators, witnesses or victims of illicit acts; except in cases where, for the sake of the best interest of the child, it is made available by the competent authority; To protect the right to the image a n d privacy of adolescents in difficulties with the criminal law, pursuant to the provisions of the Code of Childhood and Adolescence; and, To abstain from issuing content that assails the dignity of elderly adults, or projects a negative vision of aging.

With respect to professional exercise: a.

To respect the constitutional premises of verification, timeliness, contextualization and contrast in the dissemination of information of public relevance or general interest;

b.

To abstain from intentionally omitting a n d distorting elements of information or opinions disseminated;

c.

To abstain from obtaining information or images using illicit methods;

d.

To avoid gruesome treatment of information on crimes, accidents, disasters or other similar events;

e.

To defend and exercise the right to the conscience clause;

f.

To prevent censorship in any of its forms, regardless of who attempts to engage in it;

g.

Not to accept external pressures in the performance of one’s journalistic work;

h.

To exercise and respect the rights to confidentiality of sources and professional secrecy;

i.

To abstain from using one’s status as a journalist o r s o c i a l communicator to obtain personal benefits;

j.

Not to use privileged information obtained in confidence in the exercise of one’s informational function for one’s own benefit; and,

 

4.    

k.

With regard to practices of social communications media: a.

To respect freedom of expression, of comment and of criticism;

b.

To correct as swiftly as possible information that has been shown to be false or erroneous;

c.

To respect the right to the presumption of innocence;

d.

To abstain from disseminating in f o m e r c ia ls a s th o u g h th e y w e r e in f o r m a tio n a l material;

e.

To see to it that headlines are coherent and consistent with the content of the news;

f.

To distinguish unequivocally between news and opinions;

g.

To distinguish clearly between informational material, editorial material and commercial or advertising material;

h.

To avoid reporting irresponsible conduct involving the environment in a positive or encouraging manner;

i.

To assume responsibility for the information and opinions that are disseminated; and,

j.

To abstain from engaging in practices of media lynching, understanding this to mean, the dissemination through the communications media of concerted, reiterated information, directly or by third parties, intended to destroy the prestige of a natural or juridical person or to reduce their public credibility.

         

 

   

 

To respect copyrights a n d the rules of attribution.

Failure to uphold the ethical standards established in this article can be reported by any citizen or organization to the Superintendency of Information and Communication, which, after ascertaining the veracity of the report, shall issue a written warning, as long as it does not constitute an infraction meriting other sanctions or administrative measures established in this Law.

 

Art. 11.- Principle of affirmative action.- The competent authorities shall adopt measures of public policy intended to improve conditions for access and exercise of rights to communication of human groups considered with due foundation to be in a situation of real inequality; with respect to most other female and male citizens.  

Such measures shall last for as long as necessary to overcome such inequality, and their scope is to be defined on a case by case basis.

 

Art. 12.- Principle of democratization of communication and information.- The actions and decisions of employees and government officials with competencies in the matter of rights to communication,


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 5 shall constantly and progressively tend to create material, legal and political conditions to achieve and extend the democratization of ownership of, a n d access to, communications media, to create communications media, to generate spaces for participation, access to frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum allocated for open signal and subscription radio and television services, technologies and information flows. Art. 13.- Principle of participation.- Officials and public employees, as well as public, private and community media, shall facilitate the participation of men and women citizens in communication processes. Art. 14.- Principle of intercultural and plurinational relations.- The State, acting through public institutions, officials and employees competent in the matter of rights to communication shall put forward public policy measures to ensure intercultural relations among communes, communities, peoples and nationalities; in order for them to produce and disseminate content that reflects their vision of the cosmos, culture, traditions, knowledge and wisdom in their own language, in order to establish and progressively extend an intercultural communication that esteems and respects the diversity that characterizes the Ecuadorean State. Art. 15.- Principle of the best interest of girls, boys a n d adolescents.- The communications media shall promote the exercise of the rights to communication of girls, boys and adolescents on a priority basis, adhering to the principle of their best interest established in the Constitution and in the Code of Childhood and Adolescence. Art. 16.- Principle of transparency.The social communications media shall disseminate their editorial and informational policies, as well as their code of ethics, on web portals or in an instrument available to the public. CHAPTER II Rights to communication

   

   

SECTION I Rights to freedom Art. 17.- Right to freedom of expression a n d opinion.- All persons have the right to express themselves and freely express their opinions in any way and through any medium, and they shall be responsible for their expressions under the law. Art. 18.- Prohibition of prior censorship.- Prior censorship by an official, public employee, shareholder, partner, advertiser o r any other person w h o i n t h e exercise of his duties, o r a c t i n g i n h i s o f f i c i a l c a p a c i t y , revises, approves o r disapproves content prior to its dissemination through any communications medium, in order to obtain in an illegitimate fashion a benefit for himself, favor a third party and/or harm a third party. The communications media have a duty to cover and report facts in the public interest. A deliberate and recurrent failure to report i s s u e s i n t h e p u b l i c i n t e r e s t constitutes an act of prior censorship.

Those who engage in prior censorship, or in acts conducive to doing so, shall be subject indirectly to administrative sanctions by the Superintendency of Information and Communication, with a fine of 10 basic unified salaries, without impairment to the perpetrator of the acts of censorship h a v i n g t o a n s w e r judicially for the commission of crimes and/or for damages caused, as well as for their complete reparation.  

Art. 19.- Further liability.- For purposes of this Law, further liability is the obligation that all persons have to assume the administrative consequences for disseminating content that violates rights established in the Constitution, and in particular, the rights to communication and the public security of the State through the communications media, without impairment to civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions or actions of any other type for which there may be grounds.  

Art. 20.- Further liability of the communications media.There will be grounds for further liability of the communications media in the administrative, civil and penal spheres when the content disseminated is assumed expressly by the medium itself, or when it is not explicitly attributed to another person.  

Comments made at the foot of electronic publications on the webpages of legally established communications media shall be the personal responsibility of those who make them, unless the media should fail to perform one of the following actions:  

1. Clearly inform the user of his personal responsibility with respect to the comments expressed;  

2. Create mechanisms for recording the personal data that make people’s identification possible, such as name, electronic address, citizenship or ID card number; or  

3.

Design and implement mechanisms for self-regulation that prevent publication, and allow for the reporting and elimination of content that injures rights enshrined in the Constitution and the law.

  The communications media can only reproduce messages from social networks when the sender of such messages is duly identified; if the communications media do not comply with this requirement, they shall have the same liability established for the content published on their web page that is not explicitly attributed to another person.

 

Art. 21.- Joint liability of the communications media.- The communications medium shall be held jointly liable for such indemnities and compensations of a civil character as may be assessed for failure to fulfill the obligation to make corrections, or to prevent those affected from exercising their rights of reply and response as ordered by the Superintendency of Information and Communication, via due process, and that have arisen as a result of the dissemination of any type of content that is injurious to human rights, the reputation, honor, or good name of persons and the public safety of the State, based on what is established under the Constitution and the law.


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Art. 22.- R i g h t t o r e c e i v e t r u t h f u l information of public relevance.- All persons have the right for the information of public relevance t h a t t h e y receive through the communications media to be verified, contrasted, precise and contextualized.

2.

 

3.

Verification involves ascertaining that the facts reported have actually occurred. Contrasting involves gathering and publishing in a balanced fashion the versions of the people involved in the events reported, unless any of them have refused to provide their version, of which express affirmation is to be provided in the journalistic account.

 

4.

Reading or transcription of the correction and public apology in the same space, on the same programs, sections and medium in which the unsubstantiated, false or inaccurate information was reported; Only in cases of repeated instances taking place within one year, a fine is to be imposed equivalent to 10% of the average billing of the preceding three months submitted in Internal Revenue Service statements, without impairment to fulfilling what is established in sub-sections 1 and 2 of this article; and, In the event of additional repeat offenses, the fine shall be double what was assessed on each previous occasion, without impairment to fulfilling what is established in sub-sections 1 and 2 of this article.

Precision involves gathering and publishing accurately the quantitative and qualitative data that comprise the journalistic account of the facts. Qualitative data are the names, family relationships, duties, titles, activities or any other thing establishing the relationship of the people with the facts reported. If it is not possible to verify the quantitative or qualitative data, the former are to be presented as estimates, and the latter are to be presented as suppositions.

 

Contextualization involves informing the audience of the background of the facts and persons comprising part of the journalistic account.

Art. 24.- Right of reply.- Any person or human community that has been directly mentioned in a communications medium in a way that affects their rights to dignity, honor or reputation, has a right for this medium to disseminate their reply free of charge, in the same space, page and section in written media, or on the same program in audiovisual media, and within a period not greater than 72 hours following the request submitted by the party in question.

If the persons cited as sources of information or opinion have a specific interest or connection of an electoral, political, economic or family nature in relation to the persons or facts comprising part of the journalistic account, this should be mentioned as an identifying particular of the source. Art. 23.- Right to correction.- All persons have a right to have the communications media make corrections of information that they have reported about them, their relatives or the matters for which they are responsible when there are deficiencies in the verification, contrasting and precision of information of public relevance, in accordance with what is established in Article 22 of this Law. The communications media h a v e a l e g a l obligation to publish within 72 h o u r s , counting from the presentation of the complaint of the affected person, free of charge, and with the same characteristics, dimensions and in the same space, section or time of day; such corrections as may be appropriate. In the event that the communications medium does not act upon the right of correction on its own initiative, the Superintendency of Information and Communication may order the following administrative measures, subject to qualification of the validity of the complaint: 1.

Correction and public apology by t h e director of the communications medium submitted in writing to those directly affected with a copy to the Council of Regulation and Development of Information and Communication, which is to be published on its web page and on the first interface of the web page of the communications medium for a period of not less than the seven days following;

In cases where public or community communications media do not have billing, the fine shall be 10% of one twelfth of their annual budget.  

Compliance with these administrative measures does not preclude such legal actions for which there may be grounds for the dissemination of information that is unsubstantiated, false or inexact.  

 

In the event that the communications medium does not act upon the right of reply on its own initiative, the Superintendency of Information and Communication may order, subject to qualification of validity of the complaint, the same administrative measures established for the violation of the right to correction.  

Art. 25.- Position of the media on legal matters.- The communications media shall abstain from taking an institutional position o n the innocence o r guilt of persons involved in a legal investigation or criminal prosecution until sentence is pronounced by a competent judge.  

Violations of this prohibition will be sanctioned by the Superintendency of Information a n d Communication, with a fine equivalent to 2% of the average billing of the previous three months of the communications medium, as reported in their Internal Revenue Service statements. In the event of repeat offenses committed in the same year, the fine shall be double what was assessed on each previous occasion.

 

Art. 26.- Media lynching.- The dissemination of information t h a t d i r e c t l y o r through third parties is produced in a concerted fashion, and stated repeatedly by one or more communications media for the purpose of destroying the prestige of a natural or juridical person, or reducing their public credibility, is prohibited.

 

Subject to ascertaining the validity of the complaint, the Superintendency of Information and Communication may order the following administrative measures:


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 7 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A public apology by the person or persons who produced and disseminated such information.

2. Publication of the apology established in the foregoing sub-section in the communications medium o r media on different d a y s in the same space, programs, and sections, for as many times as the information h a r m f u l t o t h e prestige or credibility of the persons affected was stated. These administrative measures shall apply without impairment to the perpetrators of the offense having to answer for the commission of crimes and/or for damages caused, as well as for their complete reparation. Art. 27.- Fairness in the publicity of legal cases.- In all cases in which the communications media address the treatment of facts subject to investigation or judicial prosecution, they are obliged to publish in an evenhanded fashion the versions and arguments of the parties involved. This obligation means, for print media, offering all the parties involved the same space, page a n d section t o p r e s e n t t h e i r arguments; a n d , in the case of the audiovisual media, it means having the parties or their representative present at the same time, or consecutively, on the same program and for the same amount of time to present their arguments. If either one of the parties refuses to use the space offered by the communications media, it shall be understood that the medium’s obligation has been duly fulfilled by having made the respective invitation, which shall be expressly stated in the journalistic account, or in the respective program. Notwithstanding the refusal of one of the parties, either one of them may use their right to fair treatment at any subsequent time within one year counting from their initial refusal, on the same terms established by this Law for the right of reply. In the event that the communications medium does not act upon the right of the parties to fair treatment on its own initiative, subject to ascertaining the validity of the complaint, the Superintendency of Information and Communication may order the same administrative measures established for violations of the right to correction. Art. 28.- Copies of programs or publications.- Any person who feels affected by information of a communications medium can, providing justification, request copies of the programs or publications. The communications media have an obligation to accede within a period not greater than 3 days to requests for the delivery of copies of those programs or publications that are cited in writing. Failure to comply with this obligation shall be subject to administrative sanctions by the Superintendency of Information and Communication, with a fine of 1 to 4 basic minimum unified salaries of an ordinary worker for any medium that does not comply with this request in a timely fashion, without impairment to its having to issue the requested copy immediately.

Art. 29.- Freedom of information.- All persons have the right to receive, search for, produce and disseminate information by any medium or channel, and to freely select the media or channels through which they access information and content of any kind.

 

This freedom can only be limited with justification through prior a n d explicit establishment of causes contemplated by the law, the Constitution or an international instrument of human rights, and only insofar as this is indispensable to the exercise of other fundamental rights or the maintenance of established order.

 

Any conduct that constitutes an illegal restriction on freedom of information shall be subject to administrative sanctions in the same way that this Law imposes such sanctions on cases of prior censorship by government officials and the communications media, without impairment to such other legal actions for which there may be grounds.

 

Art. 30.- Information whose circulation is restricted.T h e following information may not circulate freely, especially through the communications media:

 

1. That which is expressly protected with a clause of reservation previously established in the law;  

2. Information concerning personal data, and which comes from personal communications, whose disclosure has not been duly authorized by the individual in question, by the law or by a competent judge;  

3. Information produced by the Public Prosecutor in the context of a prior inquiry; and,  

4.

 

Information about girls, boys and adolescents that violates their rights, pursuant to what is established in the Code of Childhood and Adolescence.

Anyone who engages in dissemination of the information indicated in the foregoing items shall be subject to administrative sanctions by the Superintendency of Information and Communication, with a fine of 10 to 20 basic minimum unified salaries, without impairment to being held liable judicially, as the case may be, for the commission of crimes and/or damages caused, as well as their complete reparation.

 

Art. 31.- Right to protection of personal communications.- All persons have a right to the inviolability and secrecy of their personal communications, whether these are expressed verbally, through legally authorized telecommunications networks and services, or are stored on paper or in an electronic storage device.   It is prohibited to tape or record by any medium the personal communications of third parties without their being informed and duly authorizing such taping or recording, except in the case of undercover investigations authorized and ordered by a competent judge and executed in accordance with the law.

 

Violation of t h i s right s h a l l b e s a n c t i o n e d under the law.


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Art. 32.- Comprehensive protection of girls, boys a n d adolescents.- Girls, boys and adolescents have the right to express their ideas, thoughts, feelings and actions in their own ways and spaces in their native language, without any discrimination or stigmatization whatsoever. The messages disseminated by social communications media and other public and private entities, shall favor the comprehensive protection of girls, boys and adolescents, especially against being newly victimized in cases of sexual physical, psychological, intra-family violence, accidents or other things. Revictimization as well as the dissemination of content that violates the rights of boys, girls and adolescents, pursuant to what is established in the Code of Childhood and Adolescence, shall be subject to administrative sanctions by the Superintendency of Information a n d Communication, with a fine of 5 to 10 basic minimum unified salaries, without impairment to the perpetrator of such conduct being judicially l i a b l e f o r t h e commission of crimes and/or for damages caused, as well as their complete reparation.

SECTION II Rights of equality and intercultural status Art. 33.- Right to the creation of social communications media.- All persons have a right to set up communications media with equal opportunity and on an equal footing, within the constitutional and legal limitations established for financial and business organizations or groups, their legal representatives, members of the board of directors and shareholders. The violation of this right shall be sanctioned under the law. Art. 34.- Right of access to frequencies.- All persons individually and collectively have the right of access on an equal footing to the use of the frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum allocated for open signal and subscription radio and television services, in the terms set forth by law. Art. 35.- Right of universal access to information and communication technologies.- All persons have the right to access, be trained in and use information and communication technologies to enhance the enjoyment of their rights and opportunities for development. Art. 36.- Right to intercultural and plurinational communication.- The indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorean and Montubio peoples and nationalities have the right to produce and disseminate in their own language content that expresses and reflects their vision of the cosmos, culture, traditions, knowledge and wisdom. All communications media have a duty to disseminate content that expresses and reflects the vision of the cosmos, culture, traditions, knowledge and wisdom of the indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorean and Montubio peoples and nationalities, for a space of 5% of their daily programming, without impairment to media expanding this space at their own initiative.

The Council of Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall establish the mechanisms and regulations for fulfillment of this obligation.  

Failure by communications media to fulfill this duty shall be subject to administrative sanctions by the Superintendency of Information and Communication, with the imposition of a fine equivalent to 10% of the average billing of the previous three months, as presented in its Internal Revenue Service statements, without impairment to its having to fulfill its obligation to disseminate this content.  

Art. 37.- Right of persons with disabilities to access.- The right of persons with disabilities to access and exercise rights to communication is hereby promoted. To this end, the social communications media, public and private institutions of the system of social communication and society shall progressively implement, among other things, the following measures: translations with subtitles, sign language and the braille system.  

The State shall adopt public policies to enable research to improve preferential access for persons with disabilities to information and communication technologies.  

Art. 38.- Citizen participation.- The citizenry have the right to organize freely in public hearings, citizen review boards, assemblies, popular councils, consulting boards, oversight groups or other organizational forms in order to have an impact on the management of communications media and see to the full observance of rights to communication on the part of any communications medium.

 

   

SECTION III Rights of communicators

Art. 39.- Right to the conscience clause.- The conscience clause is a right of men and women social communicators, the purpose of which is to ensure their independence in the performance of their duties.

 

Men and women social communicators can, with due justification, invoke the conscience clause, without this entailing any sanction or harm, to refuse to:

 

1.

 

2.

 

Carry out a working order or develop content, programs o r messages contrary to the Code of Ethics of the communications medium or the ethical principles of communication; Sign a text of which they are authors when the latter has been modified by a superior in contravention of the Code of Ethics of the communications medium or the ethical principles of communication.

The exercise of the conscience clause may not under any circumstances be considered as legal grounds for dismissal of the man or woman social communicator.


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 9 In all cases, men and women social communicators shall have the right to make public their disagreement with the medium of social communication through the medium itself. Art. 40.- Right to withhold sources.- No person r e p o r t i n g information of general interest can be compelled to reveal the source of the information. This protection does not exempt him from further liability. Information on the identity of a source obtained illegally and by coercion shall lack any legal value; and the risks, damage and harm to which such source is exposed shall be imputable to the party that forced the revelation of his identity, who shall be obliged to make complete reparation for such damage. Art. 41.- Right to maintain professional confidentiality. No person engaging in social communication activities can be compelled to reveal secrets confided to him in the context of the exercise of such activities. Information obtained by coercion shall lack any legal value; and the risks, damage and harm to which such source is exposed shall be imputable to the party that forced the revelation of the professional confidences, who shall be obliged to make complete reparation for such damage.

2. T o remuneration in accordance with salary tables set by the competent authority, to social security and other labor rights, according to their duties and competencies;

 

3. To be provided by their employers with sufficient economic, technical and material resources for the proper exercise of their profession and the journalistic tasks entrusted to them, both in the city where they usually work, and elsewhere;

 

4. To have the resources, media and incentives to undertake research in the field of communication that are necessary for the performance of their duties;

 

5.

 

6.

 

   

Art. 42.- Free exercise of communication.- All persons shall freely exercise the rights to communication recognized in the Constitution and this Law through any medium of social communication.

 

Journalistic activities conducted on an ongoing basis in the communications media at any level or position must be performed by professionals in journalism or communication, with the exception of persons with opinion columns, and professionals or experts in other fields who have programs or specialized columns.

 

Persons engaging in journalist programs or activities in the languages of the indigenous nationalities and peoples are not subject to the requirements established in the foregoing paragraph. At public institutions, jobs involving communication are to be performed by professional communicators or journalists. Art. 43.- Staff makeup of national media.- National social communications media shall compose their staff based on criteria of fairness and parity between men and women, intercultural relations, equality of opportunity for persons with disabilities and intergenerational participation.

To other rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic and in the law. TITLE III Social Communication System CHAPTER I Scope

Art. 45.- Configuration.- The Social Communication System shall be made up of public institutions, policies and regulations, as well as private and community actors and citizens who shall voluntarily become part of it, pursuant to the regulation of this Law. Art. 46.- Purpose.- The National Communication System has the following purpose:

 

1. To coordinate the resources and abilities of public, community and private actors comprising the system to achieve full exercise of the rights of communication recognized in the Constitution, in this Law and in other provisions of the Ecuadorean legal system;

 

2.

 

3.

Art. 44.- Labor rights of women and men communications workers.- Women and men communicators and women and men communications workers have the following rights: 1. To public protection in case of threats resulting from their activities as communicators;

T o professional development and technical training, for which public and private institutions and the communications media shall provide such facilitation as may be appropriate; and,

 

To develop and implement mechanisms for participatory and decentralized public planning for the definition, social control and adjustment of all public policies for communication; T o monitor and evaluate public policies and national plans established and implemented by authorities with competencies relating to the exercise of the rights to communication contemplated in this Law; and to formulate recommendations for the optimization of public investment and fulfillment of the objectives and goals defined in the National Development Plan relating to rights of communication; and,

4. To produce information on an ongoing basis concerning advances and difficulties in the applicability of rights to communication, the performance of the communications media, a n d the exploitation of communication and information


10 -- Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013

  technologies, using as reference parameters chiefly the content of the Constitution, of international instruments and of this Law.

 

 

 

   

       

Institutional Enforcement

CHAPTER II Framework for

Regulation

and

Art. 47.- Council for the Regulation a n d Development of Information and Communication.- The Council for the Regulation a n d Development of Information and Communication is a collegial body endowed with juridical personality, functional, administrative and financial autonomy, whose president shall undertake the legal, judicial and extrajudicial representation of this entity. Its resolutions are binding and must be carried out. Art. 48.- Integration.- The Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall be composed as follows: 1. One representative of the Executive Branch, who shall preside over it.

 

   

10. To draft the report to enable the Telecommunications Authority to undertake to decide upon the termination of a radio or television concession for reasons of nonfulfillment of the objective established in the communication plan;  

11. To create the administrative and operational offices necessary for the execution of its functions; and,  

12. Other things included in the law.

 

Art. 50.- Requirements.- The members of the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall meet the following requirements:

 

 

 

5. One representative of the Ombudsman.

 

 

3. One representative of the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control.

 

 

9. To formulate observations a n d recommendations on reports that it submits on a quarterly basis to the Telecommunications Authority in the process of implementing the fair distribution of frequencies, as established in Art. 106 of this Law;

 

4. One representative of the Autonomous Decentralized Governments.

 

 

2. One representative of the National Equality Councils.

   

 

8. To draft a binding report on the cases indicated in this Law for the adjudication or authorization of concessions of frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum for the functioning of open signal radio and television stations, and for the authorization of the functioning of subscription audio and video systems;

Art. 49.- Attributions.- The Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall have the following attributions:

1. Be of Ecuadorean nationality or be a foreigner legally residing in Ecuador; 2. Not have a family relationship closer than the 4th degree of kinship by blood and the 2nd degree of kinship by affinity with those who are, or have been, partners or shareholders holding an interest greater than 6% of company stock, or with owners, executives and administrators of the social communications media, for the two year prior to the date of their appointment;  

3.

1. To establish mechanisms for the exercise of the rights of users of communication and information services; 2. To regulate universal access to communication and information; 3. To regulate the classification of content a n d tim e s lo ts; 4. T o determine mechanisms to allow for a variety of programming, with an orientation towards educational and/or cultural programs; 5.

To establish mechanisms to disseminate the forms of communication belonging to the different social, ethnic and cultural groups;

6.

To draft and issue the regulations necessary for the execution of its duties and its function;

7. To prepare studies on the behavior of the community with respect to the content of information and communications media;

 

4.

 

Not to perform administrative or managerial duties in social communications media or work in a relationship of dependency in social communications media, nor to have done so for two years prior to the date of their appointment; and, To have full exercise of one’s political and participatory rights.

Art. 51.- Dismissal.- The Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication may dismiss one of its men or women board members for committing a serious error, only with a vote in favor by at least three of its members.  

The Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall hear and decide upon the dismissal of men or women board members on the grounds established in this Law, through a proceeding that ensures adherence to the rules of due process.  

A decision to dismiss can be appealed before an ordinary court without suspending the main proceeding.  

Art. 52.- Grounds for dismissal.- The following things are grounds for dismissal, without impairment to such penal and civil actions and sanctions as may be applicable:


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 11 1. Receiving gifts, or accepting the promise of the delivery of gifts, in exchange for affecting decisions in the discharge of their duties;

Art. 56.- Duties of the Superintendency of Information and Communication.- The duties of the Superintendency of Information and Communication shall be as follows:

2. Engaging in activities of political proselytizing in the exercise of their duties;

1. To oversee, supervise a n d order compliance with legal and regulatory provisions on the rights of communication;

 

3. Being subject to one of the grounds of unsuitability, pursuant to the terms of the Organic Law of Communication, which, though in effect at the time of the appointment, was not perceived at that time;

 

4. Unjustified failure to attend more than three consecutive sessions of the Council; and,

 

5.

Other grounds as set forth in the law for public employees in general.

Art. 53.- Financing.- The Council for the Regulation a n d Development of Information and Communication shall have financing from the General Budget of the State. Art. 54.- Consulting Council.- The Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall have a Consulting Council as a consulting and advisory mechanism of a non-binding character, in processes for the formulation of policy concerning information and communication. It shall be made up as follows: 1. A representative of audiovisual producers; 2. A representative of social communicators; 3. A representative of citizens’ organizations involved in the promotion of culture; 4. A representative of senior university professors of the faculties of communication; and, 5. A representative of communication students. The National Electoral Council shall be comprised of the electoral colleges for the election of representatives established in sub-sections 2 to 6. Art. 55.- Superintendency of Information and Communication.- The Superintendency of Information and Communication is the technical body for oversight, auditing, intervention and enforcement, with the authority to impose sanctions, which has a decentralized administration, and is endowed with juridical personality, its own assets and administrative, budgetary and organizational autonomy; invested with extensive authority to enforce compliance with the regulatory standards of Information and Communication. The structure of the Superintendency shall include managerial offices, administrative units, technical divisions, and advisory bodies to be established pursuant to such rules as it shall issue for such purpose. The Superintendent is to be appointed by the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control from a short list of three candidates to be sent to the President of the Republic, pursuant to what is set forth in the Constitution. Resolutions issued by the Superintendency within the sphere of its competency must be carried out.

2. T o t a k e i n , investigate and resolve reports or complaints formulated by natural or juridical persons through their representatives, in matters involving rights of communication; 3. To demand of citizens, institutions and actors involved in communication such information about themselves as may be necessary for the execution of its duties;  

4. To apply the sanctions established within the framework of this Law and regulations issued by the regulatory authority; and,  

5. Others established under the law.

 

Art. 57.- Administrative Proceedings.- Administrative proceedings to enable citizens to submit complaints and requests regarding the exercise of their rights to communication, as well as proceedings to ensure that such rights are actually protected ex officio, or in which it is required of those subject to administration to comply with the obligations determined by this Law, shall be established in Regulations to be issued for such purpose by the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication.  

In addition to the sanctions or administrative measures set by this Law, for each specific case, the Superintendency of Information and Communication may issue communications and written warnings to those subject to administration to call their attention to practices that must be improved or corrected because they place at risk, or could place at risk, the exercise of the rights of communication.

 

Art. 58.- Resolutions of the Superintendency.The resolutions of the Superintendency of Information and Communication are binding and their content must be respected and complied with in the periods established by the law or in the resolutions themselves.  

In the event that those subject to administration should legally challenge a resolution of the Superintendency, such resolution shall continue to apply until a competent judge definitively suspends or revokes it.

 

Art. 59.- Expiration and statute of limitations.- Actions to initiate an administrative proceeding shall expire one hundred and eighty days following the date of the commission of the alleged offense contemplated in this Law. The authority to sanction offenses shall elapse in t h r e e years counting from the start of the proceeding.  

   

TITLE IV Regulation of content

Art. 60.- Identification a n d classification of types of content.- For the purposes of t h i s L a w , the content of


12 -- Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio broadcasts, television, local subscription channels of audio and video systems, and print media, is identified and classified in the following categories: 1.

Informative -I;

2.

Opinion -O;

3.

T r a i n i n g /educational/cultural -F;

4.

Entertainment -E;

5.

Sports -D; and,

6.

Advertising -P.

Art. 63.- Criteria for classification.- For the purposes of this Law, in order for content to be classified as discriminatory, the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication must establish through a duly founded resolution the simultaneous occurrence of the following elements:   1. That the content disseminated expresses a concrete kind of distinction, exclusion or restriction;  

2.  

3.

The communications media have the obligation to classify all content of its publications or programming with legal and technical criteria and parameters. Public, private and community communications media must identify the type of content they are conveying; and they must indicate whether or not it is suitable for all audiences, so that the audience can make an informed decision on the programming of its preference. Radio media that insert advertising into sports broadcasts or the like that occur in live or delayed broadcasts are exempt from this requirement. Failure to comply with the obligation to classify content shall be subject to administrative sanctions by the Superintendency of Information a n d Communication, with a fine of 1 to 5 basic salaries for each occasion on which it fails to comply with this provision.

 

That such distinction, exclusion o r restriction is derived from one or several of the reasons established in Article 61 of this Law; and, That such distinction, exclusion or restriction has as its purpose or result to express contempt for, or nullify, the recognition or enjoyment of human rights guaranteed in the Constitution and in international human rights instruments; or that the content disseminated constitutes a justification of discrimination or incites people to engage in violent practices or acts based on some kind of discrimination.

Art. 64.- Administrative measures.- Dissemination of discriminatory content shall be subject to the following administrative measures:   1. A public apology by the director of the communications medium, to be presented in writing to the person or group affected, with a copy to the Superintendency of Information and Communication, which shall be published on its website and on the first interface of the website of the communications medium for a period of not less than seven consecutive days;  

Art. 61.- Discriminatory content.- For the purposes of this Law, discriminatory content shall be understood to refer to any message that is broadcast by any medium of social communication that expresses a distinction, exclusion or restriction based on ethnicity, birth place, age, sex, gender identity, cultural identity, marital status, language, religion, ideology, political affiliation, legal record, socio-economic status, migratory status, sexual orientation, state of health, having HIV, a disability of or other physical difference, the purpose or result of which is to express contempt for or nullify the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights recognized in the Constitution and in international human rights instruments, or that incites the commission of discriminatory acts or offers a justification for discrimination.

2.

Art. 62.- Prohibition.- T h e dissemination through any medium of social communication of discriminatory content whose purpose or result is to express contempt for or nullify the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights recognized in the Constitution and in international human rights instruments is hereby prohibited.

  The Superintendency shall forward certified copies to the Public Prosecutor of the order that served as the basis for imposing the administrative measure on the acts of discrimination, to investigate whether a crime has been committed.

Also prohibited is the dissemination of messages through the communications media that constitute a justification of discrimination and incitement to engage in violent practices or acts based on some kind of discriminatory message.

 

Reading or transcription of the public apology in the same space and communications medium in which the discriminatory content was disseminated;

3. In the event of repeat offenses, a fine shall be imposed equivalent to from 1 to 10% of the average billing of the previous three months, as presented in declarations to the Internal Revenue Service, taking into consideration the seriousness of the offense and the coverage of the medium, without impairment to having to comply with what is established in sub-sections 1 and 2 of this article; and,  

4.

 

In the event of additional repeat offenses, the fine shall be double what was assessed on each previous occasion, without impairment to having to comply with what is established in sub-sections 1 and 2 of this article.

Art. 65.- Classification of audiences and time slots.Three types of audiences are hereby established with their respective time slots, both for the programming of the communications media of radio and television, including local channels of audio and video subscription systems, as well as for advertising and messages of the State:   1. Family: Includes all members of the family. The Family time slot extends from 06:00 a.m. to


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 13 6:00 p.m. During this time slot, only programming with “A” classification can be broadcast: Suitable for all audiences; 2. S h a r e d r esponsibility: This consists of persons from 12 to 18 years of age, subject to adult supervision. The time slot of shared responsibility extends from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. In this time slot, programming with classifications “A” and “B” can be shown: Suitable for all audiences, subject to adult supervision; and, 3. Adult: For persons o v e r t h e a g e o f 18. The time slot for adults extends from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. In this time slot, programming with classifications “A,” “B” and “C” can be shown: Suitable for adults only. On the basis of what is set forth in this law, the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall establish the technical parameters for the definition of audiences, t i m e s l o t s , classification of programming and qualification of content. In each case, the adoption and application of such parameters shall be the responsibility of the communications media.

Educational content with sexually explicit images shall be disseminated during the time slots of shared responsibility and suitable for all audiences, bearing in mind that this material must be duly contextualized for audiences in these two time slots.

 

Failure to comply with what is set forth in this article shall be subject to administrative sanctions by the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication, with a fine of from 1 to 5 basic salaries for each occasion on which the offender fails to uphold this obligation.

 

Art. 69.- Suspension of advertising.- If it is considered necessary, and without impairment to the implementation of the administrative measures or sanctions indicated in this Law, the Superintendency of Information and Communication may, through a duly justified resolution, order the immediate suspension of the dissemination of deceitful advertising.

 

 

TITLE V Social communications media

Art. 66.- Violent content.- For the purposes of this Law, violent content shall be understood to refer to the intentional use of physical or psychological force, in deed or word, against oneself, or against another person, group or community, as well as against living beings and nature.

 

This content can only be shown in the time slots for shared responsibility and adults, pursuant to what is established in this Law.

2. Private; and,

Failure to comply with what is set forth in this article shall be subject to administrative sanctions by the Superintendency of Information and Communication, with a fine of from 1 to 5 basic salaries for each occasion on which the offender fails to uphold this obligation.

Art. 71.- Common responsibilities.- Information is a constitutional right and a public good; and the social communication that is carried out through the communications media is a public service that must be rendered with responsibility and quality, respecting the rights of communication established in the Constitution and international instruments, and contributing to the quality of people’s lives.   All communications media have the following common responsibilities in the conduct of their management:

Art. 67.- Prohibition.- Dissemination through the communications media of any message that constitutes direct incitement or explicit encouragement of the illegitimate use of violence, the commission of any illegal act, human trafficking, exploitation, sexual abuse, justification of war or national, racial or religious hatred, is hereby prohibited. The sale and distribution of audiovisual or printed pornographic material to boys, girls or adolescents under the age of 18, is hereby prohibited. Failure to comply with what is set forth in this article shall be subject to administrative sanctions by the Superintendency of Information and Communication, with a fine of from 1 to 5 basic salaries for each occasion on which the offender fails to uphold this obligation, without impairment to the offender’s being held legally liable for the commission of crimes and/or for damages caused, as well as for their complete reparation. Art. 68.- Sexually explicit content.- Any messages with sexually explicit content disseminated through audiovisual media that do not have an educational purpose must be broadcast during the adult time slot.

Art. 70.- Types of communications media.- There are three types of social communications media:   1. Public;    

3. Community.

 

 

1.

To respect human implementation;

rights

and

foster

their

full

  2. To develop citizens’ critical sense and foster their participation in matters of common interest;   3. To respect and promote obedience to the Constitution, the laws and the legitimate decisions of government officials;   4. To promote spaces for encounter and dialogue for the resolution of conflicts of shared interest;  

5. To contribute to the maintenance of peace and security;  

6. To serve as a conduit for reporting abuse or illegitimate use of public or private trust engaged in by government officials or private individuals;  

7. To prevent the dissemination of deceitful, discriminatory, sexist, o r racist publicity, o r p u b l i c i t y t h a t a s s a u l t s people’s human rights;


14 -- Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.

T o p r o m o t e intercultural dialogue and the notions of unity a n d equality in diversity a n d in intercultural relations;

9.

T o p r o m o t e t h e p o l i t i c a l , e c o n o m i c and cultural integration of citizens, peoples and human communities; and,

10. To move towards educational communication. Art. 72.- Access to communications media by men and women candidates for public office.- During electoral campaigns, the communications media shall move towards having the men and women candidates of all movements and political parties take part on an equal footing in debates, interviews and opinion programs that they offer, with the aim of making known to the citizenry their political profiles, programs and proposals in their campaigns for office. The National Electoral Council shall promote adoption by the communications media of all measures necessary for such purpose. Art. 73.- Ombudsman for audiences.- Communications media of national scope shall have an ombudsman to defend the interests of their audiences and readers, appointed through a public contest organized by the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control for the media, who shall perform his duties with independence and autonomy. In addition, they shall have mechanisms for interactivity with their audiences and readers, and spaces for the publication of errors and corrections. Art. 74.- Obligations of the audiovisual media.- Open signal audiovisual communications media shall be obliged to provide the following social information services of common interest, free of charge:

Art. 75.- Obligations of subscription audio a n d video systems.- Subscription audio and video systems shall suspend their programming to connect free of charge to national or local networks in order to broadcast such messages as the President of the Republic, or the authorities designated for such purpose, may provide, in cases of a state of exception, as provided for in the Constitution.

 

Art. 76.- Open signal transmission by subscription audio and video systems.- Subscription audio and video systems have an obligation to broadcast on their system the national, regional and local channels of open signal television previously qualified by the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication for such purpose, taking into consideration the quality of their content and programming, as long as they satisfy such technical conditions as may be established by the Telecommunications Authority.  

The broadcast of open signal television and subscription audio and video systems within the national territory shall be exempt from payment of re-broadcast rights to the television station or system operator, nor will subscribers or participants of those systems be charged.  

In broadcasting the signals of open television by subscription audio and video systems, the original programming is to be respected, and it will not be permitted to alter or include advertising that does not have the authorization of the proprietor of the programming.

 

Art. 77.- Suspension of freedom of information.- The President of the Republic, in the exercise of his constitutional duties, may order the suspension of the right of freedom of information, in which case the following conditions must be met:

 

1. The state of exception must have been previously declared;  

1. To broadcast on national or local networks, in all or in several social communications media, messages of common interest made by the President of the Republic and/or the agency of the Executive branch entrusted to do so. The executors of other State duties shall coordinate with this agency of the Executive branch to make use of this space to be provided by the networks established in this numeral. These spaces are to be used in a coordinated fashion, solely and exclusively to report on matters within its competency when necessary for the public interest. The public servants indicated in the foregoing paragraph shall be held liable for the improper use of this capacity; 2.

To broadcast on national or local networks, in the event of a state of exception, as provided for in the Constitution of the Republic, such messages as the President of the Republic, or the authorities designated for such purpose, may provide; and,

3.

Assign an hour each day, which may not be done cumulatively, for official television educational, cultural, health and rights programs prepared by the Ministries or Secretaries with competency in these matters.

2. The application of the principles, conditions and scope that the declaration of the state of exception must comply with, pursuant to Art. 164 of the Constitution, must be verified;  

3. Suitable compliance with the procedure established in Art. 166 of the Constitution to declare the state of exception must be verified; and,  

4. The need and purpose of ordering the suspension of the right to freedom of information and prior censorship of the communications media must be substantiated in writing and based on the parameters of the Rule of Law, establishing the scope of these measures and the period of their duration.   The declaration of the state of exception can only suspend the right to freedom of information and establish prior censorship of the communications media, and cannot establish restrictions of any kind on the other rights of communication established in this Law and in the Constitution.   Government officials shall be administratively, civilly and criminally liable for any impact on the rights of communication not expressly authorized as a result of the state of exception.


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 15 SECTION I Public Communications Media Art. 78.- Definition.The public media of social communication are juridical persons of public law. They are to be created by decree, ordinance or resolution, depending on the nature of the public institution that creates them. Public media may also be established as public enterprises in accordance with what is established in the Organic Law of Public Enterprises. The structure, composition and attributions of bodies for the direction, administration, social control and participation of public media shall be established in the juridical instrument of their creation. However, the structure of public media shall always have an editorial b o a r d a n d a citizen’s board, except in the case of official public media. There editorial autonomy shall be guaranteed. Art. 79.- Public communication enterprises.- If t w o o r more public media join together for strategic reasons, to optimize costs or to facilitate their management, they shall constitute a public communication enterprise, in accordance with what is established in the Organic Law of Public Enterprises. In these cases, each public communications medium must have an editorial board. Art. 80.- Purpose.- Public social communications media shall have the following purpose: 1. To produce and disseminate content to foster the recognition of human rights, of all groups of priority attention and of nature; 2.

3.

T o p r o v i d e services o f information o f public relevance that is true, verified, timely and contextualized, with respect to the principles of professional independence and pluralism; T o f acilitate democratic debate a n d expression of opinions;

the free

4. T o f o s t e r g e n d e r equality and interculturality; 5. To drive the exchange of information a n d mutual knowledge among the peoples of Latin America and the world; 6. T o promote the production and dissemination of national audiovisual content; 7. To seek out and execute mechanisms of cooperation and outreach with public media at the national and international level; 8. To implement spaces for promotion of the country’s productive activities; and, 9. T o offer educational, cultural, recreational and entertainment content that contribute to the good life.

Art. 81.- Financing.- Public media, with the exception of official public media, are to be financed with the resources of the respective institution. I n a subsidiary fashion they are to be financed in the following ways:

 

1. R e v e n u e s f r o m s a l e s o f advertising;

 

2. R e v e n u e s f r o m t h e commercialization of their communication products; and,

 

3. With funds from donations, sponsorships and national and international cooperation.

 

Art. 82.- Citizens’ Councils.- Citizens councils of public media must be configured in accordance with the rules set forth in the Law of Participation and Social Control. Members of these councils shall not be remunerated.

 

Art. 83.- Official public communications m e d i a .- The branches of the State and autonomous decentralized governments are authorized to create official public communications media, whose chief purpose is to disseminate the official position o f t h e p u b l i c institution that creates them on matters w i t h i n i t s competence, as well as those of general interest to the citizenry, fulfilling the responsibilities common to all communications media, as established in Art. 71 of this Law.

 

Official media are to be financed exclusively by the budget of the governmental branch or the decentralized autonomous government that creates them, as well as revenues from the sale of advertising to institutions in the public sector.

 

   

SECTION II Private communications media

Art. 84.- Definition.Private communications media are natural or juridical persons of private law, either for-profit or not-for-profit, whose purpose is to provide public communication services with social responsibility.

 

   

SECTION III Community communications media

Art. 85.- Definition.C o m m u n i t y communications media are those whose ownership, administration and direction are held by not-for-profit collectives or social organizations, by communes, communities, towns and nationalities.

 

Community communications media are non-profit, and their profitability is held in common.

 

Art. 86.- Affirmative action.- The S t a t e shall implement such public policies as may be necessary for the creation and strengthening of community communications media as a mechanism to promote plurality, diversity, interculturality and plurinationality; such as: preferential credit for the establishment of community media and the purchase of equipment; tax exemptions


16 -- Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on the importation of equipment for the operation of print media, and community radio and television stations; access to training for communications, administrative and technical management of community media. The formulation of these affirmative action measures in public policy is the responsibility of the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication, and their implementation shall devolve upon the public agencies with specific competencies in each particular case. The Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall draw up an annual report on public policy measures adopted by the State aimed at establishing or consolidating community media; and this report must be published on its website. Art. 87.- Financing.- Funds for the operation of community media s h a l l c o m e f r o m t h e s a l e of services a n d communicational products, t h e sale of advertising, donations, national and international cooperation funds, sponsorships and any other legal manner of earning income. Profits earned by the management of community communications media are to be reinvested, first of all in improvement of the medium itself, and subsequently, in social welfare projects of the communities a n d organizations to which they belong. Through preferential contracting mechanisms favoring the social welfare economy, as set forth in the Law of Public Procurement, state agencies at their various levels shall contract advertising, design and other services involving the dissemination of educational and cultural content with community media. Public agencies can establish grant funds for cultural and educational dissemination via community media.

   

   

 

 

SECTION IV Transparency of social communications media Art. 88.- Public registration.- Social communications media must register in a registry managed by the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication, and said registry must contain the general information to be determined via regulatory provision. Such registration does not constitute an authorization for the operation of the communications medium. Communications media that do not comply with the registration requirement may not run advertising by any State institution. Art. 89.- Updating.- Communications media must notify the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication of any change in their registered information. Art. 90.- Size of circulation.- Social communications print media shall have the obligation to include in each publication that they publish, a space in which the

total number of copies put into circulation is specified, as a measure of transparency and access to information.

 

The Superintendency of Information and Communication may at any time audit the circulation of social communications print media and ascertain the veracity of the circulation figures published, for the purpose of protecting the rights of the medium’s readers, its competitors, as well as the companies, institutions and persons that run advertising or publicity in it.

 

In the event that falsehood or inaccuracy is ascertained in the circulation figures for the number of copies of one or more print editions, the Superintendency of Information and Communication shall order that the medium publish on the first interface of its website and on the front page of its paper editions, for a period from one to seven consecutive days, the acknowledgement that the figures for the print run do not accord with reality, as well as a corresponding public apology addressed to companies, institutions and persons that run publicity or advertising in said medium.

 

Whoever may consider himself financially affected by false figures for the circulation of copies issued by a medium may undertake appropriate legal action.

 

Art. 91.- Archive of advertisements.- All programming and advertising on broadcast radio and television communications media must be recorded, and shall be retained for one hundred and eighty days following the broadcast date.  

 

SECTION V Advertising

  Art. 92.- Actors in advertising.- Commercial interrelations between announcers, advertising agencies, social communications media and other actors in the management of publicity shall be regulated through the regulations of this Law, with the aim of establishing parameters of fairness, respect and social responsibility, as well as avoiding forms of monopoly or oligopoly control of the advertising market.   Advertising creativity shall be recognized and protected by copyright a n d other rules contained in the Law of Intellectual Property.   The actors in advertising management responsible for the creation, production and dissemination of advertising products shall in all cases receive the intellectual a n d economic recognition corresponding to the copyright for such products.

 

Art. 93.- Extent of advertising.- The extent of advertising in communications media shall be determined though regulation by the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication, based on technical parameters and international standards in the framework of a reasonable balance between content and commercial advertising.

 

Art. 94.- Protection of rights in advertising and publicity .- Advertising and publicity shall respect the rights guaranteed under the Constitution and international treaties.


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 17 Deceptive advertising is hereby prohibited, as well as any kind of advertising or publicity for child pornography, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and narcotic and psychotropic substances. The communications media may not advertise products whose regular or recurrent use affects people’s health, and the Ministry of Public Health shall draw up a list of such products. Advertising for products involving food a n d health must have prior authorization from the Ministry of Health. Advertising that is to be shown in children’s programs must be duly assessed by the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information a n d Communication b a s e d o n t h e respective regulation. The Superintendent of Information and Communication shall order the suspension of advertising that circulates through the communications media when it violates the prohibitions established in this article, or incites people to violence, discrimination, racism, addiction, sexism, religious or political intolerance, as well as any advertising that assails the rights recognized in the Constitution. This measure can be revoked by the Superintendent himself, or by a competent judge, under conditions determined by law. Art. 95.- Public investment in advertising and publicity.Public sector institutions that contract advertising and publicity services in social communications media are to be guided on the basis of criteria of equality of opportunity with respect to the purpose of the communication, the target audience, the territorial jurisdiction of the institution and the levels of audience and people tuning in. It is to be guaranteed that media of smaller circulation, as well as those based in rural areas, should be part of government advertising and publicity. Public sector institutions shall draw up a report annually of the breakdown of expenditures on advertising contracted in communications media. This report is to be published on the website of each institution. Failure to comply with this requirement by the head of each public institution shall be sanctioned by the Superintendency of Information and Communication, with a fine equivalent to 35% of the total monthly remuneration of the official in question, without impairment to the report’s having to be published within a period of thirty days. Non-fulfillment of the duty to publish the report within a period of thirty days, indicated in the foregoing paragraph, shall be grounds for dismissal of the head of the institution. Art. 96.- Investment in private advertising.- At least 10% of the annual budget allocated to private advertisers for advertising of products, services o r goods offered nationally in the communications media is to be invested in communications media of local or regional coverage. It is to be guaranteed that media of lesser coverage or circulation, as well as those based in rural areas, should take part in advertising.

The Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall establish in the respective Regulation the conditions for an equitable distribution of 10% of the budget among advertisers in local media.

 

   

SECTION VI National production

Art. 97.- Space for national audiovisual production.Audiovisual communications media with a signal of national origin shall progressively devote at least 60% of their daily programming during the hours for all audiences to the dissemination of content of national production. Such content o f national origin must include at least 10% independent national production, calculated on the basis of the total daily programming for that medium.

 

The dissemination of content of national production that cannot be broadcast during the hours for all audiences is to be assigned to the screen quota that the audiovisual communications media must fulfill.

 

For calculation of the percentage assigned to national a n d national independent production, the time allotted for telemarketing advertising or services is to be excluded.

 

The screen quota for national independent production is to be fulfilled with works by producers accredited by the authority charged with promoting the film industry and national audiovisual production.

 

Art. 98.- Production of national advertising.Advertising that is disseminated in Ecuadorean territory through the communications media must be produced by Ecuadorean natural or juridical persons, with ownership of the majority of shares held by Ecuadoreans or foreigners legally residing in Ecuador, and whose staff roster for their execution and production is comprised of at least 80% persons of Ecuadorean nationality, or foreigners legally residing in the country. Contracting of professional services is to be included as part of this percentage of the staff roster.

 

The importation of advertisements produced outside the country by foreign companies is hereby prohibited.

 

For the purposes of this Law, advertising production is understood to refer to commercials shown on television and in movie theaters, radio spots, photographs for billboards, or any audiovisual piece used for advertising purposes.

 

Dissemination of advertising that does not comply with these provisions is not allowed, and any natural or juridical person who orders such an ad to be run is to be sanctioned with a fine equivalent to 50 % of what it would have taken in for running the advertisement in question. For billboards, the company that disseminates the ad will be fined.

 

Advertising for international campaigns intended to promote respect for, and the exercise of, human rights, peace, solidarity and comprehensive human development shall be excepted from what is established in this article.


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Art. 99.- Concentration of space for national production.- One single producer m a y not concentrate more than 25% of the hourly quota or the quota of purchases for the same television channel. Art. 100.National production.- An audiovisual work is to be considered national w h e n at least 80% of the people who participated in its creation are of Ecuadorean nationality or foreigners legally resident in the country. Art. 101.Independent national producers.- An independent national producer is a natural or juridical person who has no employment relationships, no family relationship of the 4th degree of kinship by blood and the 2nd degree of kinship by affinity, nor any company or commercial ties to the audiovisual communications medium t o w h i c h i t licenses the rights for the dissemination of its work. Company or commercial ties shall be understood to exist when: 1. The national independent producer and the audiovisual communications medium belong to the same economic group; 2.

A s i n g l e person controls more than 6% of the company stock of the audiovisual communications medium and the company of the producer.

There are links between the national independent producer a n d the owners, legal representatives, shareholders or majority shareholders of the audiovisual communications medium, when there is a family relationship up to the 4th degree of kinship by blood and the 2nd degree of kinship by affinity. Production companies funded by foreign capital, or that are dependent on a foreign company through their executive bodies, their stock or their business strategy, are not to be considered national independent producers. Art. 102.Fostering national production a n d independent national production.- Open television and subscription audio and video systems media that have within their programming grid one or more channels whose signal is broadcast from Ecuadorean territory, shall annually acquire the rights for, and show, at least two feature films of national independent production. When the resident population o r the number of subscribers in the area of coverage of the communications medium is greater than five hundred thousand inhabitants, the two feature films are to be shown as television premieres and their broadcast rights must be acquired prior to their showing. To acquire television broadcast rights for a national independent production, communications media of open signal television and subscription audio and video systems a r e t o a l l o c a t e a n d a m o u n t n o t l e s s t h a n 2% of the amounts billed and earned by the medium or system a n d t h a t w e r e declared in the previous fiscal year. When the resident population in the coverage area of the communications medium is greater than five hundred thousand inhabitants, the amount to be allocated by the communications medium may not be less than 5% of the amounts billed and earned by the medium or system.

For subscription audio a n d video systems, the calculation to determine the amounts allocated for the acquisition of broadcast rights is to be based on revenues earned by commercialization of advertising spaces taken in by channels whose signal is broadcast from Ecuadorean territory.  

For public communications media, this percentage is to be calculated on the basis of their budget.  

When the volume of national independent production is insufficient to cover the quota stated in this article, Latin American productions are to fill the gap, based on principles of reciprocity with the countries of origin thereof.  

For television channels that are not considered to be national social communications media under this law, national independent production encompasses the provision of all audiovisual production services.

 

Art. 103.Broadcast of musical content.- For radio stations broadcasting musical programs, music produced, composed or executed in Ecuador must account for at least 50% of the musical content broadcast in all its scheduled hours, with the payment of royalties pursuant to the law.  

Thematic or specialized stations are exempt from the 50% requirement for musical content.  

 

SECTION VII Public spectacles

  Art. 104.Protection of girls, boys a n d adolescents.The National Council of Childhood and Adolescence shall issue regulations for access to public spectacles that are in the best interests of girls, boys and adolescents, pursuant to Article 13, sub-section 4 of the Inter-American Convention of Human Rights, and the Convention o n the Rights of the Child.  

Use of the regulation indicated in the foregoing paragraph shall be required by local and national authorities with competence in the matter, in their respective jurisdictions, to authorize the execution of public spectacles.  

   

TITLE VI The radioelectric spectrum

Art. 105.- Administration of the radioelectric spectrum.The radioelectric spectrum is an asset in the public domain of the State that is inalienable, imprescriptible and not susceptible to attachment.  

The administration of the use and technical exploitation of this strategic public resource shall be exercised by the central government through the Telecommunications Authority.  

Under no circumstances shall the administration of the radioelectric spectrum involve carrying out enforcement activities concerning the content of communications media.


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 19 Art. 106.- Equitable distribution of frequencies.- The frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum intended for the operation of open signal radio and television stations are to be equitably distributed in three parts, reserving 33% of these frequencies for the operation of public media, 33% for the operation of private media, and 34% for the operation of community media. This distribution is to be achieved progressively, and chiefly through the following steps: 1.

Allocation of frequencies that are still available;

2. The recovery of frequencies obtained illegally, and their subsequent redistribution; 3. The recovery of frequencies due to non-compliance with technical legal standards for their operation, or nonfulfillment of the purposes for which they were licensed, and their subsequent redistribution; 4. The distribution of frequencies that revert to the State pursuant to the law; and, 5. The equitable distribution of frequencies a n d signals that will allow for the digitization of radio and television broadcast systems. In all of these cases, the distribution of frequencies shall prioritize the community sector until it achieves the equitable distribution called for by this article. Art. 107.Recognition for investment and cumulative experience.- Natural or juridical persons who are licensees of open signal radio and television frequencies which have expired, can enter the contest to obtain or renew their own frequency or another different one observing whatever the terms of distribution may be laid down by the Telecommunications Authority for private and community media. These persons will be granted an additional score equivalent to 20% of the total score established for the respective contest, in recognition of experience and cumulative investment in the management of a communications medium. Art. 108.- Procedures for the awarding of concessions.The awarding of concessions or authorizations for frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum for the operation of communications media is the exclusive prerogative of the Telecommunications Authority, and is to be carried out through the following procedures: 1. Direct award of authorization t o u s e frequencies for public media. 2. A Public contest that is open and transparent to award frequencies to private and community media. Art. 109.Direct award.Direct awards for authorization to use frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum for the operation of public social communications media shall be made on the basis of fulfillment of the requirements established by the Telecommunications Authority through the respective regulations, which, without impairment to other requirements, must include the submission of strategic planning for the communications medium in question.

In the event that t w o o r more institutions from the public sector apply for authorization of the same frequency, the award will be determined by a binding decision issued by the Council for the Regulation and Development of Communication in which, based on evaluation of the strategic planning for the respective communications media, it will be determined which candidate should receive the concession on the basis of social, territorial and institutional prioritization.

 

Art. 110.Award through competition for private and community media.- The awarding of frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum for the operation of private and community open signal radio and television social communications media is to be implemented through an open and transparent public contest in which all natural and juridical persons without ineligibility or legal prohibitions can take part.  

The requirements, evaluation criteria and methods for scoring the public contest are to be determined through regulations issued by the Telecommunications Authority, taking into consideration the rules established in this Law and the Telecommunications Law, without impairment in all cases to the applicant’s having to submit the following things:   1. A communication project design, determining the name of the medium, its purpose, place of installation, coverage, programming proposal and the social impact it expects to give rise to;  

2. A management and sustainability plan; and,  

3. A technical study.  

After all submissions have been received, the applications of up to 5 applicants with the highest scores are to be forwarded to the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication.  

The Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication shall review the communication plan of each applicant, and based on its evaluation it will issue a binding decision for the awarding of the concession, whereupon the Telecommunications Authority shall undertake the administrative procedures for the respective implementation of the award.

 

Art. 111.Ineligibility to enter contest.Participation i n p u b l i c c o n t e s t s for the award of frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum to operate private and community open signal radio and television stations by applicants, whether natural or juridical persons, is hereby prohibited for the following candidates:   1. Those who have a family relationship up to the 4th degree of kinship by blood and the 2nd degree of kinship by affinity with any of the members of the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication or the Telecommunications Authority;   2. Those that are partners or have shares or participations of more than 6% of the capital stock in a company in which any


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members of the Council for the Regulation and Development of Communication or the Telecommunications Authority are also partners; 3. Anyone who is personally in default, or is not allowed to contract with institutions, agencies and entities in the public sector; 4.

Anyone who holds shares o r participations in a company that is in default, o r is not allowed to contract with institutions, agencies and entities in the public sector;

5. Anyone who personally or as a shareholder of a company has been a licensee of a radio or television frequency which has reverted to the State because of infractions determined under the law; and, 6. Such other circumstances as may be established under the law. Art. 112.-Termination of a frequency concession.Concessions of frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum for the operation of open signal radio and television stations shall be terminated for the following reasons: 1. By reason of the expiration of the concession period; 2. At the request of the licensee; 3. By reason of extinction of the juridical person in question; 4. By reason of loss of civil capacity of the licensee, or the dissolution of the licensee company; 5.

6.

By reason of proven non-compliance with provisions that prevent the concentration of frequencies a n d communications media; By reason of proven ineligibility or prohibition to enter into contests for the award of frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum for the operation of open signal radio and television stations, that was not detected in a timely fashion;

7. By reason of having been proven to be in contravention of the provision that prohibits the transfer, lease or conveyance concessions; 8. By reason of technical instances of non-compliance or lack of payment of concession fees; 9. By reason of non-compliance with the objectives established in the communication project; and, 10. By reason of such other circumstances as may be established under the law. The Telecommunications Authority, via due process, shall decide upon the termination of frequency concessions of the radioelectric spectrum for the operation of radio and television stations. In the case of sub-section 9 of this article, it shall be necessary to have in advance an order from the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication for such purpose.

Art. 113.Prohibition of concentration.- It is prohibited for natural or juridical persons to concentrate or accumulate concessions of frequencies or signals for the operation of primary radio and television transmitters. The Telecommunications Authority may not award more than one frequency concession for a primary AM radio transmitter, a primary FM radio transmitter or a frequency for a primary television transmitter to a single natural or juridical person in all of the national territory.   Anyone who is the holder of a radio concession, whether AM or FM, can participate in public contests for the award of no more than one short-wave frequency.   The concession of a frequency for the operation of a primary radio or television transmitter may not be awarded in a single province to direct relatives of a licensee with whom they have a family relationship up to the 4th degree of kinship by blood and the 2nd degree of kinship by affinity.

 

Art. 114.Concessions for relay stations for private and community media.- To foster the formation and endurance of national or regional private and community radio and television systems, natural or juridical persons that have been awarded a concession for the operation of a primary radio or television transmitter may participate in public contests organized by the Telecommunications Authority, and obtain frequencies intended for operation exclusively as relay stations for their primary transmitter in other provinces.   To encourage the development of local media and content, whenever there are contests for the concession of a radio o r television frequency, a p p l i c a t i o n s f o r t h e o p e r a t i o n of primary transmitters shall be given priority, a n d s h a l l r e c e i v e a n a d d i t i o n a l score equivalent to 20% of the total contest score in relation to applications for the operation of relay stations.

 

Art. 115.Authorizations for relay stations of national public media.- The Telecommunications Authority shall reserve one third of the frequencies allocated for public media for frequencies necessary for the operation of relay stations for public media with national range.

 

Art. 116.Duration of concession.- Concessions for the exploitation of radio and television frequencies shall last for a period of fifteen years, and shall be renewable once by the same licensee via direct concession, whereas for subsequent renewals it shall have to win a contest organized by the Telecommunications Authority.

 

Art. 117.Non-transferability of concessions.Concessions for frequencies awarded to any natural or juridical person for the operation of communications media do no become part of their property, and therefore any act that seeks to have another separate natural or juridical person enjoy or derive profit from the use of such concessions of frequencies is prohibited.

 

If any natural or juridical person, using any legal form, seeks to sell, re-sell, convey, transfer or


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 21 lease concessions of frequencies granted to them by the State, such transactions shall be null, and shall not give rise to any entitlement to whomsoever supposedly acquires them; on the contrary, this shall be sufficient cause for the concessions to be revoked immediately a n d f o r t h e licensed frequencies to return to the administration of the State. Owners of shares in a juridical person licensee may not transfer or assign their shares without the prior authorization in writing of the Telecommunications Authority. The beneficiary of the concession must, moreover, pay a fine to the State equivalent to 50% of all that he would have obtained or arranged to obtain for the purported sale, transfer or lease of the licensed frequency, without impairment to civil and criminal liability for losses caused to private individuals who purportedly would acquire rights through these illegal transactions. Art. 118.Concessions to the community sector .Given that concessions of frequencies for the operation of community radio and television stations are granted to non-profit organizations w i t h juridical personality whose boards of directors change periodically, it is established that such change does not affect the concession rights that the organization has acquired by winning the respective public contest, nor can it be interpreted as a transfer of the concession from some persons to other persons. Art. 119.- Programming outreach.- To ensure intercultural communication and national integration, communications media can establish themselves, without the need for authorization, in temporary or permanent networks that freely share the same programming for up to two hours a day. TRANSITORY PROVISIONS ONE.- The institutions and authorities that are supposed to appoint members to the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication are to fulfill this obligation in a period not greater than 30 days, counting from the publication of this Law in the Registro Oficial. TWO.- Private contracts related to the use and exploitation of radioelectric spectrum frequencies for open signal radio and television, legitimately executed pursuant to the legal and constitutional rules prior to the publication of this Law in the Registro Oficial, shall be respected until the expiration of the concession contract. THREE.- Persons who are registered as licensees of frequencies for the open signal radio and television service in a period of thirty days counting from the publication of this Law in the Registro Oficial, must submit to the Telecommunications Authority a sworn declaration in which it is stated that the natural or juridical person licensee is the party using the concession and/or operating the authorized station at least for the two previous years.

Non-compliance with this provision shall give rise to the initiation of proceedings for the reversion of the frequency concession by the Telecommunications Authority.   The sworn declarations are to be delivered by the Telecommunications Authority to the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information a n d Communication as soon as it begins to function.

 

FOUR.- Registration of social communications media with the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication must be accomplished within a period not greater than one hundred and eighty days following their configuration.

 

FIVE.- The Ministry of Finance, within a period not greater than 90 days following the publication of this Law in the Registro Oficial, shall provide resources from the General Budget of the State so that the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication can function; and it shall transfer said resources as soon as the members of the Council for the Regulation and Development of Communication take office.

 

SIX.Audiovisual communications media must progressively meet the obligations established for national production and national independent production within a period of three years following the entry into force of this Law, starting at 20 % in the first year, 40% in the second and 60 % in the third.  

A similar escalation shall apply for the dissemination of musical content as established in Article 102 within a period of three years following the entry into force o f t h i s L a w , starting at 20% in the first year, 35% in the second and 50 % in the third.

 

SEVEN.- The media of communes, communities, peoples, nationalities and social organizations that have adopted the legal form of companies or corporations of private law to obtain radio and television frequencies may convert themselves into community media within a period of up to 180 days after the issuance of the respective regulations by the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication.  

The Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication has a period of not more than 60 days following its configuration to issue the respective regulations.

 

EIGHT.- Within a period of up to 180 days counting from the publication of this Law in the Registro Oficial, natural persons who are licensees of an open signal radio or television frequency can establish themselves as a commercial company or a non-profit juridical person, which, subject to authorization by the competent authority, shall become the holder of the frequency concession in question, in accordance with the terms and deadlines stated in the original concession contract in the name of a natural person; to such end, the Telecommunications Authority shall draw up the respective regulations.

 

NINE.- Administrative procedures and processes having to do with CONATEL and the Superintendency of Telecommunications concerning the


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competencies of the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication, or of the Superintendency of Information and Communication, established in this law, are to be substantiated and resolved by CONATEL and the Superintendency of Telecommunications until the configuration of said entities. Once the entities indicated in this Law are configured, they are to have sent to them any administrative procedures and processes that may fall within their competence.

concession, they shall establish themselves as a juridical person within a period of up to 180 days, and shall receive the benefit of 20% of the total score referred to in Art. 105 of this Law.

TEN.- In accordance w i t h the report presented on May 18, 2009, by the Commission for the Audit of Concessions of Radio a n d Television Frequencies created by constitutional provision, radio and television frequencies that have not been granted by a competent authority; those that have not commenced operation in the period indicated in the concession contract; those that have not paid the concession use fees for six consecutive months; those that have leased for more than two years or in any way transferred the use of the frequency to third parties; and those that have converted relay stations into primary transmitters or vice versa, shall revert to the State through the Telecommunications Authority, with the application of due process as established in the regulations issued for such purpose by the Telecommunications Authority.

 

ELEVEN.- In order to advance progressively in the redistribution of open signal radio and television frequencies, frequency concessions for radio and television stations set to expire within a period of one year counting from the publication of the Organic Law of Communication in the Registro Oficial, shall be extended until the date on which the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication establishes the procedure to opt for a new concession. Such extension cannot be greater than one year counting from the publication of this Law in the Registro Oficial. TWELVE.- Open signal radio and television concessions that have been granted to juridical persons of public law for the operation of radio and television stations shall continue to function until the period established in the respective concession contract is complete. In the future they will be subject to the rules established for the configuration of public media established in this Law. THIRTEEN.- Advertising that has been produced and disseminated in the communications media in Ecuadorean territory up until the date this Law is published in the Registro Oficial, that does not comply with the rules for the production of advertising established in this Law, can continue to be disseminated for a period of up to one year. Once the Organic Law of Communication is promulgated, a period of 30 days is established for producers and communications media to comply with the rules established for the production and dissemination of publicity in Ecuadorean territory. FOURTEEN.- In the event of the death of a natural person who is a licensee of an open signal radio or television frequency, the surviving spouse and heirs shall continue to make use of the concession rights until the concession expires. If these persons wish to participate in the contest to renew the frequency

 

FIFTEEN.- Communications media shall include in their programming or editions content in the intercultural languages, in at least 5% of their programming over a period of one year, counting from the publication of this Law in the Registro Oficial. SIXTEEN.- Those who are working in social communications media or public institutions have a period of 6 years to comply with the obligations established in paragraph 2 of Art. 42 of this Law. Communications media and public institutions shall make such schedule adjustments and any other adjustments that may be necessary for such purpose.

 

SEVENTEEN.- Concessions delivered to religious organizations that are registered as public or private, can transform themselves into non-profit community concessions.

 

Among these organizations, starting on the date on which this law is published in the Registro Oficial and until the concession contracts signed prior to the entry into force of this Law terminate, juridical persons that are licensees of more than one primary transmitter may apply to the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication for frequencies of primary transmitter(s) to be assigned to entities that have or obtain juridical personality and belong to the same religious family that was operating them, as long as these frequencies are used by the religious organization for the operation of local or provincial communications media.

 

EIGHTEEN.- For purposes of implementing the prohibition established in the final sub-paragraph of Art. 6 of this Law, national communications media belonging to foreign organizations or companies; with foreign shareholders or partners; and those foreign juridical persons that have established themselves in Ecuador to manage national social communications media; shall, depending on their circumstances, undertake the following procedure:

 

1.

 

Foreign shareholders, partners or owners of national social communications media, whether natural or juridical persons that do not legally reside in Ecuadorean territory, shall be required to sell all of their shares, participations or the equivalent, t o n a t u r a l o r juridical persons residing legally in Ecuador.

2. Foreign companies that are only based in Ecuador a n d that are in charge of the management of a national social communications medium must transfer the assets of the communications medium to Ecuadorean natural or juridical persons, or to foreign natural persons residing legally in the country, with the respective authorization of the Telecommunications Authority


Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 -- 23 when audiovisual media are involved that are licensees of one or more radio or television frequencies. The period for adjusting to this standard is two years counting from the publication of this Law in the Registro Oficial. In the event of failure to comply with this transitory provision, the competent authority shall apply the following measures, depending on each particular case: Ecuadorean companies shall be subject to dissolution as a matter of ordinary law, and shall be subject to the procedure established in Article 367 and following of the Law of Companies. The Ecuadorean State shall proceed to cancel the operating permit granted to a foreign company pursuant to the procedure set forth in Articles 406 to 410 of the Law of Companies. NINETEEN.- Companies in charge of the management of social communications media in which the State, through the institutions indicated in Article 225 of the Constitution of the Republic, is a majority shareholder, within a period not greater than 180 days counting from the publication of this Law in the Registro Oficial, shall adopt any of the legal forms established in this Law for the configuration of public communications media or public communication companies. Private minority shareholders or partners of companies in charge of communications media must sell their portion of company stock to government shareholders or partners holding the majority of shares or participations. If such sale is not carried out voluntarily by the parties in the period established in the foregoing sub-paragraph, the ownership of the shares or participations in question shall pass to a trust set up by the Superintendency of Companies and administered by the National Financial Corporation, on the basis of a resolution of confiscation by the aforesaid oversight body. In an additional period of up to 120 days, an expert appointed by the Superintendency of Companies shall set a fair price for the shares or participations transferred to the trust, which price must be paid to the trust by the majority shareholders. Once this is accomplished, the trust shall transfer ownership of the shares or participations to majority government shareholders and shall deliver to the former private minority shareholders the funds received for their fair price. Companies w h o s e shares have been confiscated by the Ecuadorean State after 2007, and which are in the process of being sold, are to be excepted from this provision. TWENTY.- The number of new radio and television frequencies and signals obtained through the transition from analog to digital technology shall be administered by the State.

TWENTY ONE.- All concessions for frequencies that have been obtained illegally shall revert to the administration of the Telecommunications Authority once the latter has carried out due process.   In all cases in which the illegality of a concession is legally declared, the State, acting through the Office of the Attorney General, must demand complete restitution for damages caused and devolution to the State of all economic benefits generated by the use of the illegally obtained concession. Failure to fulfill this obligation shall be grounds for filing of charges that could result in the Attorney General’s removal from office.   Third parties affected by illegal transactions carried out with frequencies for the operation of radio and television stations may take legal action against those who have caused them losses.

 

TWENTY TWO.All persons who have received frequencies illegally up until the entry into force of this Law may return them voluntarily to the State within a period of six months. In these cases, the State shall refrain from demanding any restitution or return of the benefits obtained by the licensees. This exemption does not affect the right of third parties to file such legal claims as they may deem appropriate.

 

TWENTY THREE.- Up until the date on which the National Equality Councils are established, the President of the National Council of Childhood and Adolescence shall serve temporarily on the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication.  

Once the National Equality Councils are set up, their members are to elect their representative to the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication within a period not greater than 30 days.

 

TWENTY FOUR.- The attributions and duties established in the Law of Radio and Television for CONARTEL that have not been expressly attributed by this Law to the Council for the Regulation a n d Development of Information and Communication, or to the Superintendency of Information a n d Communication, are to be assumed and exercised pursuant to the terms established in Executive Decree N° 8, of August 13, 2009, by CONATEL up until the issuance of a new Telecommunications Law or a reform of this law, whereby State administration of the frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum for radio, television and subscription audio and video services shall be permanently mandated by law.  

CORRECTIVE PROVISIONS ONE.- The phrase: “crimes and,” in Art. 4 of the Law of Radio and Television is hereby deleted.  

TWO.- The phrase “its transfer to other licensees, the leasing of stations and the cancellation of concessions” in item d) of the fifth unnumbered article added after Art. 5 of the Law of Radio and Television, is hereby deleted.


24 -- Third Supplement -- Registro Oficial Nº 22 -- Tuesday June 25, 2013 THREE.- The phrase “To administer and,” in item a) of the sixth unnumbered article added after Article 5 of the Law of Radio and Television, is hereby deleted. FOUR.- The phrase “and economic” is hereby added to the final part of Art. 37 of the Law of Radio and Television. FIVE.- The phrase “and administrative” is hereby added to item d) of the unnumbered article added after Art. 5 of the Law of Radio and Television. SIX.- Paragraph 1 of Article 3 of the Law of Radio and Television, is to be replaced by the following text: “Art. 3.- Subject to this Law, natural persons who are licensees of radio and television channels or frequencies must be Ecuadorean, or foreigners legally residing in Ecuador. Juridical persons must be Ecuadorean.” PROVISIONS RESCINDED FIRST.- The following provisions of the Law of Radio and Television are hereby rescinded:

 

 

Article 5; The unnumbered first, second, third and fourth articles added after Article 5; Items f), g), h) a n d i) of the fifth unnumbered article added after Article 5; Items b) and c) of the sixth unnumbered article added after Art. 5; Articles 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and the first unnumbered article added after Art. 10; The last paragraph of Art. 14; Articles 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24; the second paragraph of Art. 27; Articles 35, 39, 40, 41, 43, 43-A, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55; The last three paragraphs of the unnumbered article added after Article 55; Articles 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66; Items a), b), c), f), g), h) and j) and the penultimate and final paragraphs of Art. 67; and, Articles 68 and 69.

TWO.- T h e S i x t h T r a n s i t o r y P r o v i s i o n o f t h e Law of Intellectual Property, Articles 16 and 31 of the Law of Professional Defense of Artists, and all provisions of equal or lesser standing that create pre-assignations in favor of the General Society of Authors and Composers (SAYCE – Sociedad General de Autores y Compositores) and the National Federal of Professional Artists of Ecuador (FENARPE – Federación Nacional de Artistas Profesionales del Ecuador) are all hereby rescinded.  

   

 

FINAL PROVISION

This Law shall enter into force as of its publication in the Registro Oficial.

 

Given and signed in the seat of the National Assembly, located in the Metropolitan District of Quito, province of Pichincha, on the fourteenth day of June, two thousand and thirteen.

 

 

signed) GABRIELA RIVADENEIRA BURBANO, President. signed) DRA. LIBIA RIVE O., Secretary General. THE NATIONAL PALACE, IN SAN FRANCISCO DE QUITO, METROPOLITAN DISTRICT, ON JUNE TWENTY-FIRST, TWO THOUSAND AND THIRTEEN.  

 

LET THIS BE SANCTIONED AND PROMULGATED.

 

signed) Rafael Correa Delgado, CONSTITUTIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC.

 

This is a true copy of the original.- I DO SO CERTIFY.Quito, June 24, 2013.

 

signed) Dr. Alexis Mera Giler, NATIONAL SECRETARY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS.

 

The REGISTRO OFICIAL assumes no responsibility for any spelling or grammatical errors, or errors of substance and/or form that the published documents may contain; the aforesaid documents s u b m i t t e d b y t h e d i f f e r e n t institutions for promulgation are faithful transcriptions of their originals, which are on file and serve as our backup.


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