HomeInsightsNeed to Know – 15.02.16

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General

Ofcom publishes annual Consumer Experience Report for 2015.

Technology

European Commission publishes summary of responses to its consultation on Standards in the Digital Single Market: setting priorities and ensuring delivery.

Nominet consults on draft revised Dispute Resolution Policy.

Internet Service Providers’ Association agrees with Joint Committee that Home Office needs to look again at significant parts of Draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

Data Protection

Information Commissioner’s Office comments on new “EU-US Privacy Shield”.

Joint Select Committee on Draft Investigatory Powers Bill publishes report.

Intelligence and Security Committee publishes report on Draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

Information Commissioner’s Office publishes A Practical Guide to IT Security for small businesses.

Publishing

Independent Press Standards Organisation announces new rules and regulations.

ASA censures publisher’s claim that most 18 to 24 year olds are “turning to our titles, not the TV, for their news”.

Independent Press Standards Organisation announces two additions to its Board.

Film & TV

British Film Institute publishes figures showing UK independent films had “blockbuster” box office year in 2015.

Gambling & Betting

Government makes Legislative Reform (Exempt Lotteries) Order 2016.

Computer Games

Ukie and MCV’s annual Market Data Valuation Day reveals impressive growth in UK games market.

Advertising

Advertising Standards Authority updates its procedures relating to complainant evidence.

General

Ofcom publishes annual Consumer Experience Report for 2015.

The report outlines Ofcom’s work to improve broadband, phones, television and postal services during the last year.  This includes action to make services more accessible and affordable; to raise satisfaction and engagement; and to protect consumers from harm.

Supplementary data is also available on the pricing of services, consumer satisfaction, and levels of consumer switching in the communications market during 2015.  To access the Report, click here.

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Technology

European Commission publishes summary of responses to its consultation on Standards in the Digital Single Market: setting priorities and ensuring delivery.

The consultation, which was part of the EU’s Digital Single Market Strategy, related to developing standards and interoperability in the ICT domain.  The Commission sought views from stakeholders on underlying problems and a possible future priority-setting policy on ICT standardisation.  The consultation covered key technology areas considered essential to achieving the Digital Single Market and timetables for standards development.

The consultation responses highlighted the importance of promoting timely standard-setting processes that reflect European interests as much as possible.  Further, the need to define priorities to organise standardisation work effectively was clearly supported.  The appropriate sequencing and timely availability of ICT standards were broadly seen by respondents as important for the effective functioning of the Digital Single Market.

Stakeholders also agreed on the importance of improving the ICT standardisation ecosystem to boost competitiveness, facilitate global market access and ensure that products can seamlessly interact in the Digital Single Market.

The majority of respondents agreed on the importance of setting priorities to pursue European global leadership and on the need of reinforcing a European presence in global standardisation.

Some respondents proposed implementing other measures, such as: a clear political framework for competition in, and interoperability of, digital products and services; the establishment of objectives (i.e. what standards should help to achieve); and support for SMEs and research centres to participate in standardisation.

A majority of respondents expressed support for the use of standardisation requests, the Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation and regulatory measures as the most effective instruments to complement prioritisation and ensure that it is taken up by the relevant standard setting organisations.

The Commission is currently carrying out an in-depth analysis of the replies to the consultation and says that a full report will be published online in due course.  To read the Commission’s initial analysis of responses to the consultation, click here.

Nominet consults on draft revised Dispute Resolution Policy.

The .UK domain registry, Nominet, has opened a comment period on proposed changes to the terms of its Dispute Resolution Service (DRS).

The DRS, Nominet’s mediation based process for resolving disputes between parties over the registration or use of .UK domain names, aims to provide a clear, quick and cost-effective process outside of the formal court system.  The idea is that it facilitates an amicable resolution between the parties where possible and is accessible and fair to both those complaining and domain name registrants.

Nominet says that, while the DRS has a proven track record of success, its governing procedures have not been reviewed since 2008 and for historic reasons these are in two separate documents leaving scope for unnecessary duplication and complexity.

The proposed changes are intended to address these issues by consolidating the current separate policy and procedure documents into a new single policy document and general updating to reflect the removal of fax numbers, availability of registrations directly at the second level within .UK, removal of the option to file hard copy documents, together with other minor clarifications and corrections.

The comment deadline is 5pm on Thursday 24 March 2016.  To access the consultation documentation, click here.

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Data Protection

Information Commissioner’s Office comments on new “EU-US Privacy Shield”.

As reported in last week’s N2K, following the Court of Justice of the European Union’s ruling in Case C-362/14 Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner, the European Commission and the United States have agreed a new framework for transatlantic data flows, known as the “EU-US Privacy Shield”.

The ICO has said, in a blog post dated 11 February 2016, that it is “too early to say whether the new Shield provides adequate protection for personal data passed from the EU to the USA”.  It comments that the Article 29 Working Party will be providing an Opinion to the European Commission about the Shield, as envisioned under Article 30(1)(b) of the Data Protection Directive.  It will also continue its work in assessing whether other transfer tools, such as standard contractual clauses (SCCs) and binding corporate rules (BCRs) can act as effective safeguards for personal data transferred to the USA.

The ICO says that it is “very much aware” that organisations have been seeking clarity about how they can transfer data to the USA in compliance with the Data Protection Act.  However, until the Working Party has produced its Opinion on the Shield, there will be no new guidance.  Organisations must therefore wait until the process of assessing the Shield is complete and the European Commission has made a formal decision on adequacy.

The ICO says, however, that it is clear that organisations can continue to use other tools such as SCCs and BCRs for transfers to the USA.  Organisations should continue to take stock of the transfers they make and have a proper understanding of the legal basis, so that they are in a good position to act, should they need to.  It advises that it may be useful to contact organisations in the USA to which personal data is transferred to highlight the possibility that the Shield may need to be considered in future.

As for complaints about transfers, the ICO says that, “the usual ICO regulatory policy will be applied”.  It will be guided by the risk posed to individuals and steps that can be reasonably expected of data controllers.  It will not be seeking to expedite complaints about Safe Harbour while the process to finalise its replacement remains ongoing and businesses await the outcome.

The ICO has also published a guidance note. To read the ICO’s blog post and to access the guidance note, click here.

Joint Select Committee on Draft Investigatory Powers Bill publishes report.

In the report, the Committee supports the intention behind the draft Bill, which is to bring together the numerous provisions in statute governing intrusive powers that already exist into one clear piece of legislation.  However, the Committee finds that important clarity is lacking in a number of areas.

The report makes 86 detailed recommendations aimed at ensuring that the powers within the Bill are workable, can be clearly understood by those affected by them and have proper safeguards.  The single biggest safeguard is the much greater involvement of judges in authorising warrants for intrusive capabilities, which the report welcomes.

The areas on which the Committee would like to see the Government provide greater clarity, include:

  • encryption: the Government’s approach to encryption, which it says is not designed to compromise security or require the creation of “backdoors”, needs to be made clear in the drafting of the legislation;
  • bulk powers: if bulk powers are to be included in the Bill, a fuller justification for each should also be published alongside the Bill. It recognises that the Intelligence and Security Committee has recently published its report, which the Committee believes will be of significant value to the two Houses when the Bill is introduced and scrutinised;
  • Internet Connection Records (ICRs): the Committee sees the desirability of ICRs, but is not persuaded that enough work has been done to conclusively prove the case for them. The Committee would like to see the Government work harder with the industry in order to provide more robust information; and
  • review provision: a joint committee of the two Houses should be established to review the operation of the powers in the Bill five years after it is enacted.

The Chairman of the Committee, Lord Murphy of Torfaen, said that the draft Bill is “significant in scale and scope and comes at a time when public debates over the tension between civil liberties and security are prominent”.  He said that there was “much to be commended in the draft Bill”, but that the Government has a “significant amount of further work to do before Parliament can be confident that the provisions have been fully thought through”.  In some important cases, such as the proposal for communications service providers to create and store users’ internet connection records, he said that the Committee “saw the potential value of the proposal”, but also that the cost and other practical implications are “still being worked out”.

Lord Murphy welcomed the creation of a new judicial oversight body and the much greater involvement of judges in the authorisation of warrants allowing for intrusive activities, but said that the Committee wants assurance that the new system will deliver the increased independence and oversight that has been promised.  He also called on the Government to publish the Codes of Practice, which will contain “important detail” on how the new legislation will work, alongside the Bill.  To access the report, click here.

Intelligence and Security Committee publishes report on Draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

In its report, the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament provides scrutiny of those aspects of the Bill that relate to the intelligence Agencies’ investigatory powers.

In the Committee’s press release on the new report, Dominic Grieve QC MP said that the Committee supports the Agencies’ use of investigatory powers where it is “necessary and proportionate”.  It also supports the Government’s broad intent to provide greater transparency around those powers through new legislation, Mr Grieve said, noting that the draft Bill incorporates a number of the recommendations the Committee made in its 2015 Report on Privacy and Security.  In particular, the draft Bill now provides explicit authorisation for Bulk Personal Datasets, Bulk Communications Data and Computer Network Exploitation for the first time.  However, Mr Grieve said, it was “disappointing” that the draft Bill does not cover all the Agencies’ intrusive capabilities, as the Committee had recommended last year.  This means, he said, that the various powers and authorisations remain “scattered throughout different pieces of legislation” and, as a result, the draft Bill is limited in the extent to which it can provide a comprehensive legal framework.  In the Committee’s view this is “a missed opportunity”, Mr Grieve said.

Mr Grieve also said that, taken as a whole, the draft Bill “fails to deliver the clarity that is so badly needed in this area”.  He noted that the issues under consideration are “undoubtedly complex”, but said that it was evident that “even those working on the legislation have not always been clear as to what the provisions are intended to achieve”, and that the draft Bill appeared to have suffered from “a lack of sufficient time and preparation”. The Committee is therefore urging the Government to “take time when bringing forward the new legislation” in order to “construct a comprehensive and clear legal framework for authorising the actions of the intelligence Agencies”.

Mr Grieve said that “substantive amendment” is required to the approach taken in the draft Bill toward privacy protections.  The Committee had expected to find universal privacy protections applied consistently throughout, or at least an overarching statement at the forefront of the legislation, he said.  Instead, however, the draft Bill adopts “a rather piecemeal approach”, which “lacks clarity” and “undermines the importance of the safeguards associated with these powers”.  The Committee has therefore recommended that the new legislation contain an entirely new Part dedicated to overarching privacy protections, which should form the backbone of the draft legislation around which the exceptional powers are then built.  This will ensure, Mr Grieve said, that privacy is “an integral part of the legislation rather than an add-on”.

The Committee has also recommended major changes to the powers contained in the draft Bill in the following three areas:

  • equipment interference: at present the draft Bill differentiates between the Agencies’ ability to conduct certain IT operations, with some continuing to sit under the broad authorisations provided under the Intelligence Services Act 1994 regime. The Committee recommends that all IT operations be brought under the same legislation, with the same authorisation process and the same safeguards.  Further, the Committee says that it has not been provided with sufficiently compelling evidence as to why “Bulk” Equipment Interference warrants are required.  In the Committee’s view, “Targeted” Equipment Interference warrants can be drawn sufficiently broadly that a separate “Bulk” warrant is unnecessary.  It therefore recommends that Bulk Equipment Interference warrants are removed from the legislation;
  • Bulk Personal Datasets. The draft Bill provides for the Agencies to obtain a class warrant allowing them to obtain any number of Bulk Personal Datasets of a general class or type (for example, travel data). As a general principle, the Committee considers that class authorisations should be kept to an absolute minimum.  Given that each Bulk Personal Dataset potentially contains personal information about a large number of individuals, the majority of whom will not be of any interest to the Agencies, the Committee considers that each dataset is sufficiently intrusive that it should require a specific warrant.  It therefore recommends that Class Bulk Personal Dataset warrants are removed from the legislation; and
  • communications data: the approach to the examination of communications data is currently “inconsistent and confusing”, the Committee says. In the Committee’s view, it is essential that the same safeguards be applied to the examination of all communications data, irrespective of how it has been acquired.  This must be clearly set out on the face of the legislation: “it is not sufficient to rely on policy and good practice”.

Mr Grieve also said that there are “a number of more detailed matters requiring specific amendment”, such as “operational purposes”, timeframes and the extra-territoriality of the draft Bill.  The Committee considers these changes necessary if the Government is to bring forward legislation that provides the security and intelligence Agencies with the investigatory powers they require, while protecting privacy through robust safeguards and controls, Mr Grieve said.  To read Mr Grieve’s statement in full and to access the Committee’s report, click here.

Information Commissioner’s Office publishes A Practical Guide to IT Security for small businesses.

The Guide is aimed at small businesses and gives advice on how to keep IT systems safe and secure.

The ICO says that: “Being nervous of or not understanding data protection is no excuse for not complying with the law”.  The Guide is therefore presented as ten “bitesize” chunks of advice.

Essentially, the Guide advises on how to keep IT systems safe and secure so that businesses can ensure compliance with the rules on protecting personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998.  It reminds businesses that breaches of data protection legislation can lead to fines of up to £500,000 in serious cases and major damage to reputation.

The Guide includes updated advice about the cloud, advising businesses that processing data in the cloud represents a risk, as the personal data for which the business is responsible is not managed by the business itself, but by the cloud provider.

The Guide also includes extra advice on how to make sure mobile devices that staff may use remotely are safe and secure.

It works in conjunction with “Cyber Essentials”, which is the UK government-backed scheme designed to protect businesses.  To access the new Guide, click here.

Internet Service Providers’ Association agrees with Joint Committee that Home Office needs to look again at significant parts of Draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

In response to the Joint Committee into the draft Investigatory Powers Bill (see item above), ISPA has welcomed a number of the “clear and robust recommendations” from the Committee to help improve the draft Bill.  Some specific concerns, outlined in detail below, include how to define “communications data”, “Internet Connection Records” (ICRs), costs to industry and the status of the request filter.

ISPA notes that the Joint Committee’s report is the third parliamentary report expressing major concerns with the new legislation.  The Science and Technology Committee said the Bill risks undermining the UK’s technology and communications sectors and the Intelligence and Security Committee said the bill does not do enough to protect privacy (see items above).  With these concerns and those expressed by industry, academia and NGOs, the Home Office has a substantial task ahead to meet the serious concerns identified by Parliament, ISPA says.  “It is crucial that sufficient time is now given to allow the legislation to be improved and redrafted”, it says.

In particular, ISPA makes the following comments:

  • Communications Data: ISPA agrees with the Committee that the definitions remain problematic, in some cases are “unclear and unhelpful”, and need greater clarity and precision. ISPA says that it is ready to work with the Government and Parliament to ensure greater clarity is achieved.
  • Internet Connection Records: ISPA also supports the Committee’s call that the “significant” concerns outlined with ICRs, including a consistent definition and technical feasibility, need to be addressed for the Bill to command the necessary support. ISPA hopes that the misleading allusion to ICRs being described as a “mere itemised phone bill” is no longer used.
  • Data retention: ISPA also agrees with the Committee that industry should receive “whatever financial and technical support is necessary” as data is not being held for business purposes.  ISPA says that this should be made clearer through a commitment to full cost recovery, as supported by the Science and Technology Committee’s report.  “Cost recovery acts as a clear safeguard by providing a link between public expenditure and the use of powers”, ISPA says.  It welcomes the call for the Home Office to make explicit that third party data should not be included in the draft Bill and the term “relevant communications data” be removed.  ISPA also says that more detail is required to clarify the types of data it expects Communications Service Providers to generate and in what quantities.
  • Encryption: ISPA supports the call that Government should make explicit that encrypted data can only be sought via a warrant while not requiring backdoors to be built into systems. It further supports the call, also put forward by the Science and Technology Committee, that companies offering end-to-end encryption will not be expected to decrypt data if not practicable.
  • Bulk Equipment Interference Warrants: ISPA says that the Government “must review the case for bulk equipment interference warrants and the impact they could have on system damage and collateral intrusion”.
  • Request filter: ISPA notes the Committee’s support for the request filter, but it is keen to understand how the significant technical and security challenges can be met.
  • Extra-territoriality: ISPA agrees that more careful consideration to the consequences of enforcing extraterritoriality needs to be made.
  • Oversight: ISPA agrees that more work is required to deliver a “world-leading” oversight regime thorough judicial commissioners that protects privacy, but allows for the necessary and proportionate use of investigatory powers.

Responding to the publication of the report, ISPA Chair James Blessing said: “This report adds to the chorus of voices calling for the Home Office to change the legislation so it’s feasible, proportionate and does not harm the UK Internet industry.  ISPA believes a new framework is needed to replace the various outdated laws, but we need further clarity on Internet Connection Records, definitions and costs”.  To read ISPA’s press release in full, click here.

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Publishing

Independent Press Standards Organisation announces new rules and regulations.

IPSO has announced that a majority of its member publications have voted in favour of revised rules and regulations, giving it enhanced powers and greater independence.  The new rules will come into operation on 1 March 2016.

IPSO has also confirmed that it has reached agreement with the Regulatory Funding Company (RFC) on a four-year budget, which will see the organisation through to 2020.  IPSO says that the deal gives it “financial certainty” and “the ability to plan with confidence through to the end of the first five years of its operation”.

IPSO now has:

  • explicit power, in appropriate circumstances, to investigate in the absence of a complaint;
  • control over its own complaints procedures;
  • power to demand, as a sanction for serious Code breaches, quarterly statements from the publications setting out details of all Code complaints over a certain period;
  • simpler rules for launching and carrying out a standards investigation, possibly leading to a £1 million fine;
  • power to issue its own financial sanctions guidance; and
  • power for the IPSO appointments panel to set the levels of remuneration for the Board and Complaints Committee members.

Commenting on the new rules and regulations, IPSO Chairman Sir Alan Moses said: “Critics told me I would face an obstinate and immovable press which would stand in the way of any reform.  They said we wouldn’t be able to make any changes to our rules.  They were wrong.  We identified what we wanted to amend and have made fundamental and far-reaching improvements that will reinforce IPSO’s power to carry out its work free from interference by those we regulate or by parliament.  These reforms will offer more protection to the public and allow us to provide a more effective service”.  To read IPSO’s press release in full, click here.

ASA censures publisher’s claim that most 18 to 24 year olds are “turning to our titles, not the TV, for their news”.

A national press ad for Newsworks Ltd, published on 6 September 2015, was headed “The front page news on TV every night? Ours.” and stated “It’s a fact that’s not lost on 18 to 24 year olds. Most of them are turning to our titles, not the TV, for their news”.

In response to a complaint challenging whether the claim could be substantiated, the ASA asked to see evidence that more than 50% of this age group referred to Newsworks’ print and online news sources instead of television.  YouGov survey results provided by Newsworks indicated that 63% of adults in this age group used print and online news sources, and 62% used broadcast news programmes.  The ASA, however, considered that this did not demonstrate that the majority of 18 to 24-year olds used print news sources instead of television.  Firstly, as 62% of 18 to 24-year olds had answered that they watched TV news, this meant that only 38% had not stated that they used this source.  The data could therefore not show that more than 50% of this age group used newspapers and their online equivalents and not TV for their news sources.  Moreover, the data did not show how many newspaper readers had stated that they did not watch TV for news information.

The ASA also noted that while the YouGov survey reported a higher percentage of print and online users, the margin of error for the sample size of the age group was in the region of seven percentage points and, as the difference between the two proportions was one percentage point, it was therefore not possible to determine with a sufficient degree of certainty which group was actually larger.  Furthermore, the YouGov survey had been carried out online and no explanation was given regarding the potential for this method to show a bias towards respondents accessing online news sources.  The ASA concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading, in breach of CAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).  To read ASA Ruling on Newsworks Ltd (10 February 2016), click here.

Independent Press Standards Organisation announces two additions to its Board.

IPSO has added two members, one lay member (Ruth Sawtell) and one industry member (Trevor Kavanagh) who has recent senior experience in the national mass-market newspapers sector, to its Board.

IPSO says that Ruth Sawtell has “a wealth of experience” as a board member in regulatory bodies and in organisations that handle consumer complaints.  She is currently a board member at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and at PhonepayPlus, the regulator of premium rate telephone services.  Ruth was also a Council member at the Advertising Standards Authority.

As for Trevor Kavanagh, IPSO says he brings “decades of knowledge of the industry” from his time with The Sun as the paper’s political editor from 1983-2006 and subsequently as chief leader writer until 2008.

Ms Sawtell and Mr Kavanagh were appointed by the independent IPSO Appointments Panel, chaired by Sir Hayden Phillips.  Ms Sawtell replaces Ros Altmann who stepped down from the Board following her appointment as Pensions Minister at the Department for Work and Pensions and Mr Kavanagh replaces Bill Newman whose term of office came to an end in October.  They have both joined the Board with immediate effect.  To read IPSO’s press release in full, click here.

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Film & TV

British Film Institute publishes figures showing UK independent films had “blockbuster” box office year in 2015.

The BFI says that the figures show that in 2015 UK independent films “held their own” in a record year for the UK box office, with independent films and highly anticipated blockbuster franchises, including UK-made Star Wars: The Force Awakens and SPECTRE, pulling in record cinema audiences, and UK film production remaining strong throughout the year, with UK High End TV production showing significant growth.

The BFI says that a wide range of UK titles achieved a market share at the UK box office of 11%, the third highest since records began.  Previously, a strong market share for UK independents has often been driven by one or two key titles, but in 2015 a wide range of films each performed well and appealed to different audience groups, with eight independent titles taking over £5 million in 2015.

These were led by Legend, starring Tom Hardy as both Kray twins, which was the year’s highest grossing UK independent with £18.4 million.  Second was the sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which took £16 million.  Shaun the Sheep Movie took £14 million, The Lady in the Van took £12 million, and Suffragette took almost £10 million (with The Lady in the Van and Suffragette both continuing to play to cinema audiences in 2016).  The documentary Amy, released in 2015, became the second highest grossing non-concert documentary of all time at the UK box office, taking almost £3.8 million.

As for UK film production in 2015, the total spend on film production in the UK topped £1.41 billion, the second highest figure since these statistics were first recorded 20 years ago and only a slight decrease of 6% on 2014’s record-breaking total (£1.49 billion).  The BFI says that the strength of UK film production is testament to the continuing appeal of UK studios, facilities, locations, crews and the supportive fiscal environment created by the UK film tax relief.

International films attracted to the UK in 2015 helped to generate a spend of £1.18 billion from 47 inward investment films.  The BFI says that major international films making the UK their production base bring investment, create jobs, and contribute to the UK economy, with film production supported by the UK film tax relief generating almost £12.50 for the UK economy for every £1 spent in relief.

The BFI notes that, owing to the lower budget nature of many independent UK domestic titles, there is often a time-lag in data collection so the total number of films and UK production spend will likely be revised upwards as more information is received.

As for high end television, the BFI figures show that there was significant growth in spend from high end television production in the UK in 2015, with 82 television programmes driving a UK spend of £759 million, up 20% from £633 million in 2014.  The BFI says that this growth is “testament to the UK’s outstanding crews, locations, facilities and the government’s tax relief for high end television programmes”.

Finally, as far as animation programmes are concerned, at the time of reporting, at least 18 animation programmes were produced in the UK in 2015 with a spend of £29 million.  Of these, eight were domestic UK productions.  However, there is a significant time lag in collecting animation data and these numbers are almost certain to increase as more information becomes available, the BFI says.  To read the BFI’s press release in full and for a link to the statistics, click here.

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Gambling & Betting

Government makes Legislative Reform (Exempt Lotteries) Order 2016.

In February 2014, the Government published a consultation on Incidental Non Commercial, Private Society, Work and Residents’ Lotteries, which proposed lifting restrictions on incidental non-commercial lotteries to also allow them to be held at commercial events and to allow private society, work and residents’ lotteries to be able to raise money for charities and good causes.

The Government has now made The Legislative Reform (Exempt Lotteries) Order 2016, which will come into force on 6 April 2016, amending the exemption for incidental lotteries in Part 1 of Schedule 11 to the Gambling Act 2005, so that it is no longer limited to lotteries that are incidental to a non-commercial event.  The exemption now applies to lotteries that are incidental to an event, provided that the conditions specified in that Part are satisfied.  There is also no longer a requirement for the results of the lottery to be made public while the event is taking place.

The new legislation also expands the exemption for private society lotteries so as to apply to any private society lottery promoted wholly for a purpose other than that of private gain; it is no longer limited to any of the purposes for which the society in question is conducted.

A work lottery or a residents’ lottery is also now exempt in two circumstances, where the lottery: i) is promoted wholly for a purpose other than that of private gain; or ii) is not organised in such a way as to ensure that no profits are made.  To access the new legislation, click here.

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Computer Games

Ukie and MCV’s annual Market Data Valuation Day reveals impressive growth in UK games market.

Games trade body Ukie and games trade magazine MCV held their annual Market Valuation Day on 11 February, where it was revealed that the value of the UK games market is up 5% from 2014, and now worth £4.19 billion.  Ukie says that overall the figures showed positive growth across most of the categories of the UK games consumer market.

The biggest increase was seen in the mobile games market, worth £664 million, an impressive £116 million increase from 2014.  Console hardware suffered a decrease in valuation in 2015 being worth £689 million, down from £915 million in 2014.

For this year’s market valuation, Ukie and MCV added in a new category: specialist gaming PC hardware, which is worth £138 million. To read Ukie’s press release in full, click here.

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Advertising

Advertising Standards Authority updates its procedures relating to complainant evidence.

The ASA says that it is important that the ASA Council has all the information it needs when making decisions on whether or not an advertiser’s marketing has breached the Advertising Codes.  Equally, to ensure that they fully understand the case being made against their ads, advertisers need to be aware of all the information on which the Council will rely in coming to a decision.  To reflect this fully and ensure all parties are treated fairly, the ASA has recently updated its procedures.

The ASA says that it will always take a complainant’s evidence into account when deciding whether or not the advertiser has a case to answer, but complainants should be aware that, if their evidence is to be relied on in any way by the Council, they must agree for it to be shared with the advertiser.  This is, the ASA says, in the interests of allowing advertisers a fair opportunity to respond in full to the points being made against their marketing.  The ASA will, it says, make an assessment during the investigation as to whether this information is relevant and needs to be disclosed.  If a complainant does not wish to agree to disclose their evidence, it will not form part of the ASA’s assessment of the matter.

This procedure does not affect the requirements for an advertiser to be able to support their marketing claims and to make the basis for comparative claims available.  The ASA reminds readers that advertisers are still responsible for ensuring that they do not mislead those who see their ads and that they can substantiate any claims that they make that might affect the behaviour of consumers.  On the complainant’s request, the ASA will disclose their evidence only after the advertiser has supplied their initial response and information in support of their claims.  To read the ASA’s news release in full, click here.

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