October 26, 2020
The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2020 have now been made and come into force on 1 November 2020. The new Regulations implement certain provisions of the amended Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU) (AVMSD) by making amendments to the Broadcasting Acts of 1990 and 1996 and the Communications Act 2003. In particular, Part 4 of the new Regulations inserts a new section Part 4B into the 2003 Act to regulate video-sharing platform services for the first time.
Under the new Regulations, VSPs must have appropriate measures in place to protect children from potentially harmful content and all users from criminal content, and incitement to hatred and violence. VSPs will also need to ensure standards around advertising are met.
Ofcom has now published new guidance on the Regulations to help UK-based VSPs understand their new obligations. The guidance also sets out Ofcom’s approach to carrying out its new duties. Ofcom says that it will engage with potential VSPs to assist them in understanding the steps they should take to ensure compliance. It will also be developing and consulting on further guidance on the risks of harm to users and the measures services should take to mitigate them.
Ofcom understands that the Government’s intention is that VSP regulation will be in place until such time as the new Online Harms regime comes into force. To access the guidance, click here.