Newspaper and magazine publishers face paying thousands of pounds in fees if they continue using video content on their websites, industry groups have warned.
ATVOD has ruled that short video clips on publishers’ websites provide a TV-like service.
This means publishers must register with ATVOD and pay an annual fee – a ruling strongly opposed by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) and the Newspaper Society. While last year’s annual fee was £2,900, the PPA claims that, depending on company turnover, that figure could rise to as much as £25,000.
PPA chief executive Barry McIlheney said: Essentially the disproportionate regulatory fees being charged by ATVOD are damaging innovative digital businesses and putting them at a disadvantage compared to their European counterparts.
A number of publications – including The Sun, News of the World, The Sunday Times and Elle magazine – are appealing the decision, after ATVOD ruled they were in breach of the Communications Act 2003 by failing to notify the watchdog they were operating video on demand services.
The Newspaper Society’s political, editorial and regulatory affairs director Santha Rasaiah argues that under the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, newspapers and magazines should be expressly excluded from the regulation.