The much-publicised cosy deal between the BPI, Ofcom and the ISPs has raised howls from civil rights campaigners – who quite rightly protest that music consumers have had no voice in these discussions.
The Open Rights Group (ORG) has submitted its response to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s consultation into legislative options to tackle illicit peer to peer file-sharing, warning of muddy thinking throughout the proposals made so far.
iPod users in the UK face a tax intended to fund unprofitable shows from Channel 4 and ITV, Ofcom has announced.
Ofcom warned that by 2012, when every household in Britain will have access to more than the five basic channels, between £145 million and £235 million of public funding would be needed to ensure ITV, Channel 4 and Five could continue producing their current level of public service programmes.
Ofcom may attempt regulation against file-sharing, with Ofcom boss Ed Richards described the regulator as “ready to play a constructive role” in the ongoing debate over file-sharing.
“To date, Ofcom has not made a lot of public noise about the piracy issue…that should not be mistaken for a lack of interest or concern…this sort of piracy is something that affects network operators, ISPs, content creators and consumers – and as the converged regulator we have of course been keeping a watchful eye on developments.”
Richards observed that the need for telecoms and network companies to invest in a more robust infrastructure means those firms must be confident of a profit-friendly future regulatory environment.
“An operator investing in next-generation networks will not want it clogged up with illegal peer-to-peer content if that means no-one will pay to ensure a return on the investment, as we have seen in some Asia Pacific markets,” Pushing for commercial or voluntary agreements to prevent file-sharing, Richards said. “Content providers, self evidently, do not want illegal traffic undermining their investment in IPR.”
UK regulator Ofcom today published the Terms of Reference for its Market Impact Assessment (MIA) of the BBC’s proposed Local Video service. Ofcom has also invited stakeholders to respond to a list of questions published today.
The BBC’s Local Video service expands upon existing BBC Local websites on bbc.co.uk with a focus on 60 areas, typically a county or conurbation, across the UK.
The BBC wants to create and deliver local video news, sport and weather programmes to complement its existing service, offering Local information in both Welsh and English in Wales.
Diane Coyle, BBC Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s Public Value and Fair Trading Committee, said: “Last year the Trust challenged BBC management to respond to licence fee payers wanting better local services. We wanted a proposal that would deliver public value with minimum adverse impact on local newspapers and other commercial media services.
The Market Impact Assessment of the proposed BBC Local Video service will examine the likely impact of the service proposed by the BBC on similar and related products and services, examining in particular the extent to which the service might affect innovation and investment in the commercial sector.
BBC management believes the proposition will help the BBC meet its public purposes and close the gap between the importance that audiences attach to the BBC’s local role and their view of current performance.
Ofcom, however, will consider the impact of the plan upon:
* local newspapers and associated online services;
* local radio stations and associated online services;
* local and regional TV services and associated online services;
* mobile TV services; and
* other online services.
The results of the MIA will be published alongside the BBC Trust’s Public Value Assessment on 18 November 2008 with a final decision on the plans set for February 2009.