UK VOD Players To Patrol Themselves; EU Directive Becomes Self-Regulation

So this is how Europe’s new Audio-Visual Media Services (AVMS) directive will be implemented in the UK. Drawn up by the commission in May and approved by parliament last week, AVMS – the son of Television Without Frontiers – made a distinction between linear TV services online, which are to be regulated like TV, and non-linear, which gets light-touch regulation primarily concerning protecting minors, ensuring cultural diversity and preventing incitement to hatred. In the UK, Ofcom has decided not to implement the legislation locally itself but instead will leave it up to the Association of Television On Demand (ATVOD), a consortium including BT, (NYSE: BT) Tiscali and Virgin Media. The regulator will retain “backstop” oversight to patrol only serious breaches, Media Week reports, but ATVOD has updated its own code of conduct to comply. As we reported in May, AVMS does not extend to web-based content publishers like YouTube.