Ofcom publishes ‘Specially restricted material’ and Age Verification Guidance for Providers of On-Demand Programme Services

Ofcom explains that on-demand programme service providers regulated by Ofcom are required to place “specially restricted material” (which includes certain pornographic content) behind age-verification controls to restrict access to over 18s. The Digital Economy Act 2017 increases the scope of content that has to be placed behind age-verification controls on ODPS, and Ofcom is changing Rule 11 of Ofcom’s Rules for ODPS to reflect this stricter requirement.

The 2017 Act also introduced new duties for the British Board of Film Classification to regulate “pornographic” content online on commercial adult websites. In light of this, and following consultation in October 2018, Ofcom’s Guidance sets out Ofcom’s decisions regarding changes to Ofcom’s Guidance for Rule 11. To access the Guidance document, click here.