Thailand has drafted a new law on movies and video games that says that local productions must first gain a rating from the local government before they can be sold overseas. Failure to do so could lead to fines from ten thousand to five million Thai Baht (over one thousand to over 66 thousand Malaysian ringgit).
According to the Thai news website Gamer555, the new draft was submitted by The Ministry of Culture to Thailand’s House of Representatives on the 19th of April 2023 as a replacement for the Film and Video Act of 2008 in order to cover law on both movies and Video games created in Thailand.
Here is the relevant section of the new law draft. Please note, this was translated from Thai using Google so it may not be entirely accurate:
“Section 17 – Exporting movies or games produced in the Kingdom to overseas markets must be approved by the Appropriateness Rating Committee in accordance with the rules, procedures, and conditions prescribed by the Minister. Unless the film or game content has been rated appropriately under section 15 or has already been licensed under section 40″.
“Section 24 Movie or game advertising media must be approved by the Appropriateness Rating Committee in accordance with the rules, procedures, and conditions prescribed by the Minister. Paragraph one shall not apply to advertising media, movies, or games that have been reviewed and permitted by other laws”.
“Section 75 Any person who violates Section 15, Section 17, Section 22, or Section 24 shall be liable to a fine. ranging from ten thousand baht to five million baht”.
The Thai government is also currently holding a public survey to gain more feedback about the law. This will end on the 24th of May. We should note that while the survey can give insight into people’s opinions on the new law, it is ultimately the government’s decision whether the law is passed or not.
The draft law has been criticized by several Thai game developers who believe that the law would give the Thai Government too much power over game developers and stifle creativity.
“We join together in objection to the game law,” says developer Debuz’s Sittichai Theppaitoon. “Because the principles and reasons for enacting this Act have been inherited since the Cold War era. At that time, the state wanted to control and direct the media so that it would not criticize and have the direction that the state wanted”.