UK Opposes EU Bid to Regulate Web Video

08 August 2006

The UK government has voiced its opposition to a draft revision of the European Commission's 1989 Television Without Frontiers Directive.

The update proposes to introduce limited regulation of "non-linear audio-visual content" - or in plan English, online video.

In a letter sent to all twenty-five EU member nations, the Blair administration states it is "strongly of the view" that the scope of the directive should be confined to television broadcasting.

But the screed does offer a concession, saying that if there is any widening of the existing regulations, they should cover only video on demand - for example HomeChoice and BT's forthcoming Vision service - on the grounds that such services are "closely similar to traditional television".

European media commissioner Viviane Reding insists that the sole intent of the proposed revisions is to introduce minimum standards, banning racial and religious hatred and ensuring the protection of minors.

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff