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The UK is looking to line up streaming services like Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. The UK government wants the platforms in question to be regulated as linear broadcasters under a “white paper” guidance document.
Britain follows France
As Deadline reports, UK regulator Ofcom, which currently oversees TV network content, will be responsible for implementing and enforcing the guidelines for streaming services, which are not currently subject to the Broadcasting Code. This is equivalent to the chronology of the French media which has been altered to accurately integrate these new actors.
The changes will require video-on-demand services to ensure that their viewers are protected from harmful or objectionable content and that the principles of fairness, accuracy and confidentiality apply.
The document outlines possible penalties for code violations, including a £250,000 fine on offensive video-on-demand services or up to 5% of the organization’s revenue, the amount being kept the highest.
For now, these rules only apply to large streaming apps. Although Apple TV+ isn’t a giant streaming service, it is owned by the most valuable company in the world, placing it at the top of the list alongside direct competitors.
Linear broadcasters have been pushing for many years to apply these guidelines to streamers. Netflix reacted to the proposal, saying it welcomes the move to update the legal framework.
We look forward to reviewing other proposals in the white paper and engaging with the government on their plans.
One way of promoting competition by small companies:
Thanks to these changes, the British public will be better protected against harmful content and will be able to complain to Ofcom if they see something similar. Small and low-risk on-demand services in the UK will continue to operate under existing regulations, while respecting freedom of expression and proportionality issues.
The document also highlights the problem faced by global players such as Google, Amazon and Apple who already have immense power:
These new global players – the Googles, Amazons and Apples of this world – are successful because they provide convenience and integration. But the increasing power of these actors, and the data they hold, will inevitably affect how rights to access, transport and prominence are negotiated in the future. While the increased range and ownership of distribution platforms generates potential benefits in terms of consumer choice and innovation, there is a risk that all the broadcasters we know and love in the UK are easily passed out.
Good news for consumers, a new hurdle for Apple and its ilk. what do you think
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