Videos on UK news sites won’t be regulated, after The Sun wins Ofcom appeal

Videos on UK news sites won’t be regulated, after The Sun wins Ofcom appeal

UK tabloid newspaper The Sun has won an appeal that will see it retain full control of the video sections of its website, reports the Guardian, in a move that has also saved other UK newspapers’ online videos from being monitored by external regulators.

To give you a quick recap, in March 2010 UK communications industry body Ofcom handed regulatory control of all video-on-demand (VOD) services to The Association For Television On Demand (ATVOD). This was a few months after Ofcom had started regulating “TV-like” VOD content.

In March 2011, it was announced that national newspapers’ online video services would fall under new regulations introduced by ATVOD. But newspapers such as The Sun and The Sunday Times argued that their online video services should be exempt from regulation because they are not “TV-like” content, adding that their online video merely complements their articles.

Not taking the decision lying down, The Sun’s parent company, News Group Newspapers, appealed the decision and now Ofcom has agreed that its video-sections shouldn’t be classified as VOD services, saying that they are indeed supplementary to their main news and feature stories.

This also means that it now saves a £2,900 annual fee which would’ve been chargeable by ATVOD. With The Sun victorious, ATVOD soon announced that it would withdraw submissions it had made regarding other publishers too, which included The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Guardian and Elle.

Pete Johnson, chief executive of ATVOD, said:

“Given the clear similarities between the Sun and the other newspaper and magazine websites under appeal, we have moved quickly to confirm that the determinations in relation to those services are being withdrawn with immediate effect.”

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