In June, we reported that the UK Government had published a consultation on its proposed approach to implement the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), closing on 22 August. As part of this consultation, the UK government indicated that it was considering adopting an 'interim approach' to the new video sharing platform (VSP) measures in recognition of the fact that it may not be possible to enact the full range of measures contemplated by the Online Harms white paper by the revised AVMSD implementation deadline of 20 September 2020.
In May, no details were provided regarding the nature of this interim approach, other than that the new VSP requirements would be placed into UK law via an ‘alternative mechanism’ and that Ofcom would be appointed as the national regulatory authority to regulate VSPs - as required by the revised extension of scope under the AVMSD.
In July, the DCMS decided to proceed with this interim approach, and has now launched a further consultation specifically relating to requirements for VSPs. This consultation seeks to gather views on the interim approach to be adopted and in particular on:
- how the definition and jurisdictional scope of “VSP” should be transposed into UK law
- the regulatory framework and the regulator’s relationship with industry
- appropriate measures to be taken by platforms to protect users of VSPs
- powers of Ofcom with respect to VSPs (including information gathering, enforcement and sanctions)
- what form the required out of court redress mechanism should take
- how to fund Ofcom’s expanded role via industry
The consultation closes on 17 September 2019, and there are two stakeholder sessions scheduled for August. Given that the role of online platforms in online harm is very much a talking point at the moment we expect to see a flurry of activity on this over the Autumn period.