Five things to know about the regulations now governing influencers
The laws and the licenses that anyone receiving payment for promotional content now needs to abide by
The laws and the licenses that anyone receiving payment for promotional content now needs to abide by 1. NMC license: This was the first major law specifically governing the activities of entities serving up paid-for promotional content online. To receive payment in cash or in-kind for any kind of advertising or marketing activity, an individual will first need to obtain a license from the National Media Council. These e-media licences will cost AED15,000 and be valid for 12 months. 2. Trade license: This is the latest layer of regulation governing the space. Announced last week, the National Media Council confirmed that anyone applying for the electronic media licence will first need to have a trade license covering media activity in place. Although the cost for these varies depending on the freezone, the cheapest option is AED14,000 from Fujairah Creative City. 3. Federal Law No.15 for 1980: This law still governs all UAE media – and its points were reaffirmed by the NMC Chairman’s Decision No. 20 of 2010. Sections 70 to 84 set out the kind of content people are prohibited from publishing by any means in the UAE, including defaming Islam, infringing on privacy, circulating falsehoods and causing injury to the leaders of the UAE's Arab allies. 4. Cybercrime law of 2012: First issued in 2012, this is a 51-article law that covers all online activity, from publishing to hacking to phishing scams. The sections that are most relevant for social media influencers and bloggers relate to copyright violations and, importantly, breaching other people’s privacy. The penalties are stiff, too, with fines going all the way up to AED3m. 5. Cabinet Law No.7 of 2007: This Cabinet resolution specifically impacts anyone seeking to promote products in the healthcare space – particularly any that make claims or may lead to self-diagnosis or improper treatment of potentially serious diseases. You also can’t guarantee the effectiveness of a medication or indicate a product is safe or has no side-effects.