The “Rising and Disproportionate Cost” of VOD Regulation

ATVOD Investigation

Lord Clement-Jones has urged the creative industries minister to take a greater involvement in combating the “rising and disproportionate cost” of the Video On Demand co-regulation scheme, under ATVOD and Ofcom, in an article published on 5th July.

In it the Lib Dem peer makes the following remark:

Under the new fees structure announced last week, fees for this financial year will be based on the revenue of the holding company rather than the website involved, and so will place a disproportionate burden on these services.

Not only does it appear that the fees are disproportionate for the services, but they also appear disproportionate to the obligations that ATVOD is tasked with carrying out.

On the same day, the subject was discussed in Parliament:

Baroness Rawlings: The AVMS-audiovisual media services-directive has been implemented by way of co-regulation under which Ofcom has given the day-to-day responsibility to the Authority for Television on Demand, which to simplify I will refer to as ATVOD in future. It is for those two bodies to make certain that the system works. Ofcom plans to review this after March 2012. Ministers are aware of the range of concerns that have been discussed with Ofcom, ATVOD and the industry.

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that reply, which is reassuring because surely ATVOD is everything an industry-based co-regulatory scheme should not be: expensive, too wide in scope, far from light touch and, indeed, already giving rise to litigation. I am delighted to hear that the DCMS will be making sure that ATVOD is fit for purpose.

You can read the full text here, which also covers concerns about putting “simple practical steps” in place┬áto protect children from inappropriate content online.