European Commission propose updated audio-visual rules.

BerlaymontWith more people, particularly the young moving away from traditional audio-visual platforms such as TV the European Commission is updating rules with a revised  Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

The new rules will seek to;

(i)   protect minors from harmful content (which may impair the physical, mental or moral development); access to which would have to be restricted; and

(ii)  protect the general public from incitement to violence or hatred and content constituting criminal offences (public provocation to commit terrorist offences, child pornography and racism or xenophobia).

A recent press release from the Commission explains what is meant by a video sharing platform for the purpose the new rules.

In the revised Directive, a video-sharing platform is defined as a commercial service addressed to the public:

  • where the principal purpose of the service (or an essential functionality of such service ) is devoted to providing programmes and user-generated videos to the general public, in order to inform, entertain or educate;
  • which is made available by electronic communications networks; and
  • where the content is organised in a way determined by the provider of the service, in particular by displaying, tagging and sequencing;

This means that services such as YouTube will fall under the scope of the revised Directive. Audiovisual content shared on social media services, such as Facebook, will also be covered by the revised Directive.

While newspaper websites remain outside the scope of the Directive, standalone parts of newspapers’ websites which feature audiovisual programme or user-generated videos will be considered as video-sharing platforms for the purpose of the AVMSD. However, any occasional use of videos on websites, blogs, news portals will be outside the scope of the Directive.”

The full press release can be found HERE.

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