Telkom nixes Netflix over «porn» content: report

Metaratings
28 Jan 2016
00:00

ITEM: One week after Indonesia’s tech ministry put Netflix on notice – giving it one month to comply with local film and broadcast regulations – state-owned incumbent carrier Telkom has blocked Netflix completely for non-compliance and, allegedly, porn.

According to Tech In Asia (citing a report from local media IndoTelko), the block kicked in at midnight Wednesday (January 27), after which users of Telkom and any related service – including IndiHome, WiFi.id, and mobile arm Telkomsel – were unable to access Netflix.

Telkom’s director of consumer service, Dian Rachmawan, reportedly explained that Netflix was being blocked because it carries “pornographic material and other inappropriate content”, and because it doesn’t have permission from the government to operate in Indonesia, Tech In Asia reports:

DailySocial quoted Rachmawan as saying, “As a state-owned enterprise, we need to set up an example and authority in conducting businesses.” He added that Telkom would be willing to partner with Netflix so long as it removed inappropriate content, and proceeded to let Telkom “help it manage” itself in Indonesia through a Telkom-owned platform.Netflix needs to apply for a license known as a BUT (Badan Usaha Tetap). Essentially, this means the firm must open an office in Jakarta, hire local employees, and subject itself to tax regulations, which indeed means that with every transaction on Netflix in Indonesia, a portion will go back to the government.Odds are, porn and questionable content on Netflix is not the real reason behind Telkom’s ban. Instead, a more relevant fact is that Netflix sees annual revenue of US$6 billion, which may be too juicy to pass up.

Earlier this month, tech minister Rudiantara said that Netflix would need to work with ISPs and get a business license as a local content provider if it wants to operate legally in the country. From a different Tech In Asia report:

DailySocial quoted Rachmawan as saying, “As a state-owned enterprise, we need to set up an example and authority in conducting businesses.” He added that Telkom would be willing to partner with Netflix so long as it removed inappropriate content, and proceeded to let Telkom “help it manage” itself in Indonesia through a Telkom-owned platform.Netflix needs to apply for a license known as a BUT (Badan Usaha Tetap). Essentially, this means the firm must open an office in Jakarta, hire local employees, and subject itself to tax regulations, which indeed means that with every transaction on Netflix in Indonesia, a portion will go back to the government.Odds are, porn and questionable content on Netflix is not the real reason behind Telkom’s ban. Instead, a more relevant fact is that Netflix sees annual revenue of US$6 billion, which may be too juicy to pass up.

Rudiantara also said that Netflix “probably” wouldn’t be banned, raising speculation in the media that Telkom is pressuring Netflix on the ministry’s behalf – not so much in the name of policing content, but rather making Netflix a taxpayer:

DailySocial quoted Rachmawan as saying, “As a state-owned enterprise, we need to set up an example and authority in conducting businesses.” He added that Telkom would be willing to partner with Netflix so long as it removed inappropriate content, and proceeded to let Telkom “help it manage” itself in Indonesia through a Telkom-owned platform.Netflix needs to apply for a license known as a BUT (Badan Usaha Tetap). Essentially, this means the firm must open an office in Jakarta, hire local employees, and subject itself to tax regulations, which indeed means that with every transaction on Netflix in Indonesia, a portion will go back to the government.Odds are, porn and questionable content on Netflix is not the real reason behind Telkom’s ban. Instead, a more relevant fact is that Netflix sees annual revenue of US$6 billion, which may be too juicy to pass up.

That said, a number of industry observers have noted ever since Netflix unleashed its service globally at CES 2016 that the company would have its work cut out for it in terms of tailoring content to local standards – not just in terms of language, licensing and audience expectations, but also in terms of local censorship regimes.

Related content

Comments
No Comments Yet! Be the first to share what you think!