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EU Proposes TV Rules For Internet
By: MarkJ - 14 December, 2005 (2:33 PM)

The European Commission (EC) has proposed that rules governing traditional TV be extended to cover Internet content too, specifically film and video:

bans on advertising certain types of products like tobacco or medicines or quotas on the amount of European-produced films they offer, it would include some measures such as having to provide a "culturally diverse" range of content. "This might involve requirements in terms of the catalogue they offer," said Martin Selmayr, a European Commission spokesman.

Other requirements to be applied to online service providers include proposals protecting children from unsuitable material and preventing online racial hatred.

The new rules have come under fire from the European Internet Service Providers Association (EurISPA). The Commission failed to justify why it needed to extend the current rules to new service providers, according to Richard Nash, secretary-general of EurISPA. He quoted a recent report by the UK's telecommunications regulator Ofcom, saying that the risks of applying the traditional rules to new forms of service providers "outweighed the benefits."

Somehow forcing video-on-demand (VoD) providers to offer culturally diverse content doesn't quite fit with the benefits of VoD itself.

Individuals can select what they want to watch through VoD (i.e. dynamic choice already exists); something not possible through traditional TV, hence the old rule. More @ MacWorld.

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