Posts Tagged ‘ATVOD’

Read more UK Internet Censorship at MelonFarmers.co.uk

  dreams of spanking grand reopening logo Pandora Blake, award-winning activist and feminist pornographer, has won her appeal to Ofcom against ATVOD and can reinstate her site Dreams of Spanking, which was banned under the AVMS guidelines in August 2015, triggering widespread anger among free speech advocates as well as porn fans.

The controversial Audiovisual Media Services Regulations came into effect in December 2014, banning consensual sex acts from online porn including facesitting, female ejaculation, and spanking that leaves marks. Pandora Blake took part in the facesitting protest outside Westminster, and also spoke on Newsnight and Women’s Hour challenging the sexist and regressive nature of the regulations. She believes that speaking out made her a target for censorship.

ATVOD – the Association for TV on Demand – were tasked with regulating online porn in 2010. While porn critics often focus on the mainstream industry, ATVOD made a point of targeting independent niche and fetish porn producers, including a disproportionate number of female filmmakers. In January 2016, Ofcom shut down the quango amid rumours that it was acting beyond its remit.

Pandora Blake said:

The point of Dreams of Spanking was to make ethical porn based on my own fantasies. I’m not ashamed of being kinky and there’s no harm in adults sharing consensual BDSM films. The AVMS regulations effectively criminalised my sexuality. I was singled out because I criticised the new laws. ATVOD tried to shut me up, but they failed.

Now I’ve won my appeal I feel vindicated. It proves that it’s worth standing up to bullies. The war against intrusive and oppressive state censorship isn’t over, but this decision is a landmark victory for feminist porn, diversity and freedom of expression.

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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 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

Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

daisy rock ATVOD, the UK Video on Demand censor, has published the result of an appeal to Ofcom which resulted in the confirmation that the Daisy Rock UK website is subject to suffocating censorship by ATVOD.An appeal by the service operator against an ATVOD determination in November 2014 that the website was an on-demand programme service and therefore subject to regulation by ATVOD was rejected by Ofcom.

The ruling means that the Daisy Rock UK website — which provided access to a range of explicit sex videos – must comply with an ATVOD Rule which requires services to keep explicit sex videos behind onerous and unviable access controls which ensure that children do not normally see them. The website operator had been found in breach of that rule in November 2014 and had brought the service into compliance pending the outcome of the appeal.

In order to fall within the scope of the regulations overseen by ATVOD, a service must satisfy a number of statutory criteria, as set out in section 368A of the Communications Act 2003. One of these is that the principal purpose of the service is the provision of programmes the form and content of which are comparable to the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services. The provider of the Daisy Rock UK service had argued that the principal purpose of the website was to operate as a fan club for an adult porn performer and that the video content was not comparable to TV programmes. The Ofcom decision supported ATVOD’s original ruling that the principal purpose of the website was to provide TV-like programmes, noting that the provision of audiovisual material was the main offering of the service and that the videos themselves were comparable to the type of adult sex material included in certain premium subscription and pay per view television channels — even though the content was stronger than that allowed on UK TV.

The UK rules overseen by ATVOD implement an EU Directive which makes clear that the rules are intended to apply to services which are mass media and which compete with television broadcasts services. The provider of the Daisy Rock UK service had also argued that the low turnover of the service meant it was neither mass-media nor in competition with television services and therefore placed it outside the scope of the Directive. In upholding the original ATVOD decision, Ofcom also rejected this argument.

ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson commented:

The decision to uphold the ATVOD ruling makes clear once again that hardcore porn videos on adult websites may be subject to the ATVOD rules even if they are too explicit to be broadcast on UK television channels. It also makes clear that services with low turnover fall may within our remit.

Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

dreams of spanking logo Video on Demand censor ATVOD has taken action against 8 adult companies operating 21 websites. 6 of the services didn’t abide by ATVOD’s unviable and onerous age verification requirements and 2 contained spanking material, which ATVOD claims is banned under an undemocratically introduced government decree.In fact spanking material is banned because the Crown Prosecution Service unilaterally claims that it can be successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act. This claim is surely not backed up by recent jury trials, but is maintained by offering attractive plea bargains to victims being prosecuted to accept a guilty rap rather than go to jury trial. The Crown Prosecution Service writes the porn censorship rules used by the BBFC, and ATVOD in turn, uses the same CPS defined rules as maintained by the BBFC.

Ultimately ATVOD and the government are making the bollox claim that spanking videos are somehow likely to ‘deprave and corrupt’ viewers. A claim that’s provably nonsense as for all the many people that enjoy the likes of Dreams of Spanking, there simply aren’t any examples of people who have been depraved and corrupted its viewing, not even ATVOD staff.

The two services which featured ‘banned’ material — The Bondage Mistress Club and Dreams of Spanking are the subject of ongoing enforcement action. If they fail to become fully compliant in accordance with a strict timetable set by ATVOD, the service providers will be referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction, a procedure which can lead to operators being fined or having their right to provide a service suspended.

The six other services — Joybear Pictures, Sunday Sport XXXtra, UK XXX Pass, Lisa Cross, Luke’s Lair and Lucy Zara — had all failed to have in place robust mechanisms for preventing under 18s from accessing pornographic material which would be restricted to adult licensed sex shop customers if distributed on a DVD. Two of the services — UK XXX Pass and Luke’s Lair – had allowed any visitor to view such material free of charge. The remaining four restricted access to hardcore porn to paying customers only, but accepted the most common forms of payment which theoretically could be used by under 18s.

Following ATVOD’s intervention, all six services acted to make changes to bring the service into compliance or closed until such action could be completed. Of these, Joybear Pictures and UK XXX Pass acted in advance of the final breach ruling, while the remaining four acted in accordance with deadlines set in Enforcement Notifications issued at the time the breach was confirmed.

ATVPD notes that two of the providers recently brought into compliance have since submitted claims — currently under investigation – that the services have now been transferred to the control of persons based outside the UK. ATVOD has no powers in relation to services operated from abroad and on-demand services provided from outside the UK — but accessible within the UK – are rarely required to have in place the sort of age verification and access control systems required by ATVOD.

Read more UK Government Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

ICO logo The following Freedom of Information requesthas been lodged with the Information Commissioner’s Office on the 10th August 2015 about the status ofATVOD in regards to being liable to service Freedom of Information requests:

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Please release:

1. Minutes and records of all discussions or documents relating to the consideration of whether ATVOD should be accountable under the FoIA.

2. Representations made by ATVOD as to the process to determine their accountability under the act.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Harding

I’m not really sure why there should be a debate. ATVOD reports directly to the government and also to the official state censors Ofcom. In addition ATVOD enforces censorship rules specified directly by the two government departments: The Department of Culture media & Sport; and the Crown Prosecution Service.

ATVOD claims to be a ‘co-regulator’ representing both the government and the industry, but given that ATVOD has spent its entire life crucifying a large section of the UK internet trade, it seems to be a bit of a one sided co-regulation relationship.

Surely ATVOD is a state censor, and as such should be open to freedom of information requests.

Read more UK Internet Censorship at MelonFarmers.co.uk

tony bear explains uk video censorship to lady bear video In December 2014 the UK introduced new regulations to censor online videos. Tony Bear explains the new rules to Lady Bear. She doesn’t like it.

If you don’t like it either, find out more at Backlash .