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UK Gov Fights EU Web TV Regulation

Posted: 31st Jan, 2006 By: MarkJ
The UK government is reportedly fighting a number of proposed changes to the way Television is regulated within Europe. The proposals could easily extend to encompass emerging Internet TV content and potentially stifle development:

The Commission has proposed that TV services over the Internet, or to mobile phones, would only be subject to "a basic set of minimum principles", that would seek to protect minors, prevent incitement to racial hatred and outlaw surreptitious advertising.

Purnell, though, has indicated that the UK government will oppose the EC's actions, and instead supports a continuation of today's system of self-regulation.

"There is no benefit to the consumer that justifies this move. This increased scope could mean significant regulation of the Internet and stifle the growth of new media services. That would raise prices for consumers and deprive them of potential new services," said Purnell last week.

To be fair the EU's proposals seem understandable, although the main concern is how such simple measures would be implemented. The proposals are:

A “light touch” approach to TV-like services

The proposed update of the TV without Frontiers directive would introduce some minimum principles applicable to non-linear (on-demand) services with regard to:

• protection of minors,
• prohibition of incitement to hatred,
• identification of the media service provider,
• identification of commercial communication,
• prohibition of surreptitious advertising
• clear rules on product placement and sponsoring, and
• some qualitative restrictions on advertising (e.g. for alcohol or targeted at minors).

Typically the Internet is a global technology, where watersheds and such like can not be managed accurately. The complications involved are far more than the initial ideals behind them. More @ ZDNet.
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