Archive for the ‘Ofcom Internet Censor’ Category

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Ofcom logoOn 1 January 2016, Video on Demand censor ATVOD was sacked and Ofcom became the sole regulator for on-demand programme services ( ODPS ) under Part 4A of the Communications Act 2003 (the Act ).In this document, we are consulting on a new regulatory fees regime under section 368NA of the Act, to apply from the 2017/18 financial year onwards. Our preferred proposal is to adopt a fees structure that shares the costs of regulating ODPS only between the largest providers.

We have also provided an estimate of the 2017/18 fee that would be sufficient to meet, but not exceed, the likely cost of Ofcom carrying out the relevant functions in the financial year 2017/18.

Ofcom sets out what VoD companies had to pay under the year of ATVOD:

  • (a) ATVOD’s estimated costs for the year were just over £487,000 and the fees collected were just over £488,000.
  • (b) The 40 largest ODPS providers each paid over £5,000 and accounted for over 93% of fees.
  • (c) ATVOD differentiated between those in the largest group, with the largest Super A providers paying £10,893 each for single outlet services and £14,135 for multiple outlet services (with a group cap available where there were multiple providers in one corporate group). A Rate providers paid £5,010 for single outlet services and £6,502 for multiple outlet services.
  • (d) None of the remaining 77 providers (the long tail ) paid more than £815, and 40 of these paid £204 or less. These providers accounted, in total, for under 7% of fees.

By contrast, Ofcom’s estimate of estimated costs is £114,000 and this will be raised from Video on Demand companies as follows:

  • Companies with total turnover greater than 50 million: £4146
  • Companies with total turnover 10 to 50 million: £2073
  • Companies with total turnover less than 10 million: no charge

Ofcom noted that a proportionally smaller charge for the small companies may not be cost effective to collect and may discourage companies from registering for censorship either by illegal avoidance or by moving offshore.

A consultation on this preferred option and several others is open until 29th March 2017.

Ofcom press censors…The government and Ofcom discuss censorship powers for text based internet news

Read more UK Government Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

bbc news website logo Under the BBC’s new 11-year operating agreement, known as its royal charter, its governing body — the BBC Trust — will be axed next year and censorship powers will be handed to Ofcom.But industry sources have told us that this has presented a dilemma around online news, which has become a focus of recent discussions between the BBC, government, and Ofcom.

Abolishing the BBC Trust will effectively create a loophole in censorship powers, meaning the BBC will not be accountable to an independent body for the text articles it publishes on bbc.co.uk/news. Ofcom does not have the power to regulate online news text and, in the case of the BBC, is reluctant to do so. It has no experience of regulating online text and is only set up to regulate video content.

Sources also said that Ofcom has made clear to the government that taking on this task for the BBC could set a tricky precedent. They expressed concern that if Ofcom begins regulating bbc.co.uk/news, the door is then open for these powers to be extended to other broadcasters and publishers. Would you end up with Ofcom regulating Mail Online? asked one person with knowledge of the matter.

Discussions are ongoing and no decisions have been made. An Ofcom spokesman said: We’re still in discussions with the government on how the content of the white paper will be delivered.

A Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) spokesman said the BBC’s draft charter will make clear how we are addressing this issue when it is published later this month.

Read more Ofcom Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Ofcom logo Ofcom regulates on-demand programme services (ODPS) that are notified and based in the UK, to ensure that providers apply the relevant standards. Ofcom also has a duty to advise the Government on the need for protection of consumers and citizens in their consumption of audio-visual services, and in particular the need to protect children.

Ofcom seeks to understand people’s use of, and concerns about, notified ODPS in the broader context of all on-demand and online audio-visual services in the UK, and has therefore carried out quantitative consumer research for this purpose. A

. Comparisons are made to the 2014 data throughout this report where relevant.

This survey covers the full range of audio-visual content that is available on demand and online: sourced either directly via the internet, via an app, or via a provider of a service; for example, programmes on BBC iPlayer, clips on YouTube and films provided by ondemand services from Netflix.

In this report we examine online and on-demand consumption of audio-visual content among adults and teens, and their concerns regarding that content.

The report adds about viewer ‘concerns’

The top mentions in 2015 among all concerned adults include: violence (50%), welfare of children/young people (32%), bullying/victimising (31%), racism (30%), discrimination (29%), bad language (28%) and pornography (24%). Concerns regarding violence, bullying and racism have significantly increased among adults since 2014, while concerns regarding sexually explicit content have decreased.

Read more Ofcom Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

ofcom future reguilation on demand ATVOD was sacked from its job as the Video on Demand censor a few weeks back. Ofcom will now take on the role from the new year.Ofcom has just published a paper outlining transitionary arrangements for Video on Demand Censorship and has outlined proposals for future changes to processes. Ofcom is consulting on these proposals and invites responses by 1st March 2016.

Ofcom will take on some employees from ATVOD and in the first instance the ATVOD censorship rules and processes will be continued. However Ofcom makes the following proposals for the future:

  • Service providers will still be required to register for censorship using more or less the same impossibly convoluted rules that currently exist (perhaps with improved explanation).
  • Ofcom proposes that service providers should no longer be charged a fee. (Ofcom note that the marginal cost to extend current TV censorship processes to Video on Demand are not great).
  • Ofcom will reorganise the complaints procedure along the lines of that used for broadcast complaints
  • Ofcom will rewrite the censorship rules in the style of the TV broadcast rules but substantive content will not be likely to change much as it is basically derived from EU and UK decrees.
Read more Ofcom Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Ofcom logo Larger broadcasters and communications companies face bigger fines under new rules adopted by Ofcom . Ofcom will now take into account total turnover when deciding penalties to impose on firms which breach its rules. The seriousness of a breach will also be given more weight, while precedent set by historical cases will be less important in deciding on the level of fines.The changes follow a consultation which took contributions from 14 interested organisations, half of which were from companies which Ofcom regulates. Four organisations supported the proposals while the rest did not.

Ofcom also announced that Stephen Hill has stepped down as a non-executive of Ofcom’s Board to pursue other opportunities.

The annual consultation on Ofcom’s work programme for 2016/17 has been published and there seems a few work packages related to TV and internet censorship:

Clarifying the rules prohibiting the broadcast of extremist content.

Ofcom takes the broadcasting of content that incites crime or disorder extremely seriously, in line with our statutory duty in this area. We will publish our decision, following a review of the Broadcasting Code, to ensure that our rules and guidance make explicit to broadcasters the full range of content that is prohibited in this area

Reviewing how we approach the regulation of editorial content for on-demand programme services.

Following our decision to act as a sole regulator in this area, alongside our linear broadcasting work, we will publish the findings of our review regarding how we approach the regulation of editorial content for on-demand programme services.

Reporting on audience attitudes towards broadcast media.

This annual research report looks at audiences’ attitudes towards content on TV and radio. It includes levels of perceived harm and offence.

Considering the watershed and other tools designed to protect children from inappropriate content.

We will consider whether it is appropriate to update rules in the Broadcasting Code relating to the protection of children. Specifically, we will examine whether or not it is appropriate to allow broadcasters to show content more suitable for adults before the watershed, provided that robust access controls, such as PIN protection, are in place. As part of this we will examine the effectiveness of these tools and their interaction with the watershed, alongside any potential benefits to broadcasters and audiences.

Read more Ofcom Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

ofcom children and parenets media use Ofcom writes:

Children are becoming more trusting of what they see online, but sometimes lack the understanding to decide whether it is true or impartial.

Ofcom’s Children and Parents: Media and Attitudes Report reveals that children aged 8-15 are spending more than twice as much time online as they did a decade ago, reaching over 15 hours each week in 2015. But even for children who have grown up with the internet – so-called digital natives – there’s room to improve their digital know-how and understanding.

For example, children do not always question what they find online. One in five online 12-15s (19%) believe information returned by a search engine such as Google or Bing must be true, yet only a third of 12-15s (31%) are able to identify paid-for adverts in these results.

Nearly one in ten (8%) of all children aged 8-15 who go online believe information from social media websites or apps is all true – doubling from 4% in 2014.

Children are increasingly turning to YouTube for true and accurate information about what’s going on in the world. The video sharing site is the preferred choice for this kind of information among nearly one in ten (8%) online children, up from just 3% in 2014. But only half of 12-15s (52%) who watch YouTube are aware that advertising is the main source of funding on the site, and less than half (47%) are aware that vloggers (video bloggers) can be paid to endorse products or services.

James Thickett, Ofcom’s Director of Research, said:

The internet allows children to learn, discover different points of view and stay connected with friends and family. But these digital natives still need help to develop the know-how they need to navigate the online world.

More than nine in ten parents of 8-15s (92%) manage their children’s internet use in some way – either through technical tools, talking to or supervising their child, or setting rules about access to the internet and online behaviour. Nearly four in ten parents (38%) use all four approaches.

Among the technical tools used by parents are network-level content filters offered by broadband providers. Almost six in ten parents of 8-15s (56%) are aware of these parental controls, up from 50% in 2014, and a quarter (26%) use them, up from 21% in 2014.

It appears that the vast majority of children do hear the advice given about staying safe online. Some 97% of children aged 8-15 recall advice they’ve been given, particularly from parents.

The large majority (84%) of children aged 8-15 also say they would tell their parents, another family member or a teacher if they saw something online they found worrying, nasty or offensive. However, 6% of children say they would not tell anyone.

Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Ofcom have sacked ATVOD as explained in the following statement:

Ofcom logo The regulation of video-on-demand programme services is being brought fully within Ofcom to sit alongside its regulation of broadcast content.

The move follows an Ofcom review to ensure regulation of broadcast and on-demand content remains as effective and efficient as possible for the benefit of consumers, audiences and industry.

The review included the current co-regulatory arrangements for video-on-demand services. These can include catch-up TV and on-demand services on the TV and the internet. Ofcom designated the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) in 2010 as a co-regulator to take the lead in regulating editorial content for video-on-demand services.

Following the review, Ofcom has decided that acting as sole regulator for video-on-demand programmes is a more effective model for the future than having two separate bodies carrying out this work. This will create operational efficiencies and allow editorial content on video-on-demand to sit alongside Ofcom’s existing regulation of broadcasting.

Video-on-demand services have become increasingly popular among viewers. The proportion of adults aged 15 and over that watch video-on-demand services has increased from 27% in 2010 to 57% in 2014, according to Ofcom research.

ATVOD has played an important, effective role in regulating on-demand TV over the past five years. Like Ofcom, it is committed to protecting audiences from harmful content.

ATVOD and Ofcom are therefore working closely together to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities so that audiences, especially children, remain protected at all times.

As co-regulator for on-demand services, Ofcom already has concurrent responsibility to act in addition to, or in place of, ATVOD. From 1 January 2016, Ofcom will take sole responsibility for regulating video-on-demand programme services. The Advertising Standards Authority will continue to act as a co-regulator for advertising content on video-on-demand services.

ATVOD responded:

The UK’s video on demand regulator today responded to Ofcom’s decision to end ATVOD’s role as the co-regulator for the editorial content of on demand programme services on 31 December 2015, after nearly six years.

Commenting on the decision, ATVOD Chair Ruth Evans said:

ATVOD with award for service to foreign industry We are immensely proud of the work ATVOD has done since it was given the job of overseeing a brand new set of regulatory rules for video on demand services in 2010. We have done this as a co-regulator dedicated to engaging fully with the industry we regulate in order to ensure that consumers enjoy the protections to which they are entitled without the imposition of unnecessary burdens on providers of video on demand services. Under our regulation, the UK video on demand industry has grown strongly and consumer complaints have been dealt with effectively and efficiently.

Our task now is to make sure that our service to consumers and service providers remains of the highest standard during the remaining months of 2015 and to work closely with Ofcom to manage a smooth and seamless transition. We will do this with the professionalism stakeholders have come to expect of ATVOD over the past few years.

ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said:

We would like to thank all those who have helped us discharge our duties since 2010, including past and present Industry Forum Chairs Kerry Kent and Martin Stott, past and present Industry Forum Deputy Chairs Helena Brewer and Michael Gooding and all the service providers who have helped put the ‘co’ in co-regulation by serving on our Board and participating via our joint working parties. Our regulation benefited greatly from their input and we’ve been pleased to develop together a robust and efficient model of co-regulation taking a fledgling industry sector through its first five years.

Finally, we’d like to thank the ATVOD staff and Board for all their hard work and dedication. They have done a challenging job fantastically well.

And maybe connected, Mistress R’eal has spoken of a successful appeal against an ATVOD censorship decision :

mistress real logo For those of you who know about the trouble I had with ATVOD the regulators trying to put strict restrictions on what I could and couldn’t film Well persistence prevailed and I have won

With the help of BacklashUK and the support from Mistress Tytania , I appealed their ruling to Ofcom and 2 weeks ago I got a letter from Ofcom overuling their judgement !!!

This means I am now free to continue with My clips for sale store without the constraints of the ridiculous porn laws