19/12/2009

The regulation of video on demand services - Statement | Ofcom

The regulation of video on demand services - Statement | Ofcom

Ofcom has published the framework for the regulation of Video on Demand (VOD) services. This will cover services like 4OD, ITV Player, and Demand Five which have to be regulated by 19th December 2009 in-line with the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive which covers VOD services that are "TV-Like".

The directive doesn't cover newspaper's on-line content or user generated content. However VOD content covered will not be subject to Ofcom's Broadcasting Code.

The regulations will fully come into force in March 2010 when they will cover any "TV=Like" service and many of the Internet TV netcasters will be regulated.

This is meant to introduce a level playing field for all broadcasters but many see it as an unnecessary burden which will just require more bureaucracy.

Programs for example

· must not contain any incitement to hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality;
· must provide appropriate protection for minors against harmful material; and
· sponsored programmes and services must comply with applicable sponsorship requirements.

Advertising rules cover

· advertising must be readily recognisable and cannot contain any surreptitious advertising or use subliminal advertising techniques.
· advertising must not encourage behaviour that is prejudicial to the health or safety of people.
· tobacco products, prescription-only medicines or medical treatments cannot be advertised.

Time will tell how effective the legislation is as netcaster can presumable more their infrastructure to an area that isn't covered by the legislation.
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