Feeds

Ofcom shoves video-on-demand regulation onto ATVOD's plate

Watchdog tosses bone to offspring, stops overseeing every ruling

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Ofcom has decided ATVOD can keep monitoring video-on-demand services, and with less oversight from the parent regulator, following five months of consultation.

ATVOD is a commercial operation which has been looking after video services for the last two years, following up complaints and ensuring suitable levels of decency, but its most-troublesome cases have been disputes about what constitutes Video on Demand so that is where Ofcom is loosening the reigns.

Any video service with a schedule, even if supplied over the internet, falls to Ofcom, but regulation of services which allow the viewer to pick what they watch have been outsourced to ATVOD since 2010, and Ofcom reckons ATVOD's made a pretty good run of it.

Services falling between the regulators have included MTV's web channel, which claimed that music videos weren't TV programmes as such so it shouldn't have to pay the ATVOD membership fee, as well as various newspapers who embedded video into their web pages and claimed exemption.

In both those instances the aggrieved parties appealed to Ofcom, which sided with ATVOD in the first, but the papers in the second, costing everyone time and effort that respondents to the consultation wanted to avoid in future. In typical style, BT reckoned in its stakeholder statement (PDF) that ATVOD and Ofcom should present a united front, perhaps negotiated over an agreeable dinner, to avoid legal problems in future:

"ATVOD is not going to get it right every time but where rulings are made in new areas and on high profile cases where appeals are likely, it seems sensible for both Ofcom and ATVOD to share their views, even if it is informally, before action is taken by ATVOD."

As part of these changes (PDF, not as interesting as it sounds) Ofcom won't require ATVOD to refer all decisions about what constitutes VoD to it, allowing the VoD regulator to make minor changes to its rules and procedures without having get Ofcom to sign off every one.

ATVOD has done a reasonably good job, though the VoD market it regulates is quite niche at the moment its growing fast. The launch of Sky Now (who signed up to ATVOD hours before it launched) and the success of the BBC's iPlayer (who've been with ATVOD since the beginning) show that VoD is the future, which means that ATVOD will, eventually, become our television regulator. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.