AVMS Scope and Fees

dreamstimelarge_33104Further Decisions in Austria and the Netherlands

The latest issue of Iris, published by the European Audiovisual Observatory, contains news of two recent AVMS-related decisions: one on scope and the other related to fees.

The first, in Austria, concerns the topic of scope related to a newspaper´s website, eg, which on-demand services are in scope of the AVMS regulations as incorporated into national legislation. The newspaper is question is Tiroler Tageszeitung whose online news portal, www.tt.com, has a sub-domain video section (video.tt.com) in which the videos are presented under separate categories, are searchable and follow the general design and navigation as the main site. The decision of the Austrian Federal Communications Senate (BKS) ruled however, that the site is to be considered an on-demand service. Newspaper websites have been a contentious subject for national regulators in other territories, with differing conclusions. In the UK the Sun Video case, Ofcom ruled that the newspaper´s video section of a website was out of scope, while a recent decision in Sweden rules that four newspapers were in scope. Full details of the Austrian case can be accessed on the European Audiovisual Observatory´s website here.

dreamstime_xxl_16751290In other news from the Netherlands the ¨supervisory¨ fees due by on-demand service providers, who must by law contribute to the costs of the Commissariaat voor de Media (Dutch Media Authority), have now been set at a 200 E flat fee, according to a new regulation that went into effect on 17 December 2012. The low fee is justified by the authorities because existing rules, which apply to linear broadcasters and take into account their potential reach, do not apply to on-demand services. Since the AVMS rules are less strict, the supervisory role is accordingly less. However the Dutch authorities will impose different fees for different media services, the result of which is likely to be that major national stations and foreign-oriented services will contribute more to the supervision costs. Access the full story in Iris here.