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The UK is tightening regulations for Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video

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In the UK, the government is planning tighter regulation of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video as part of the new media law.

These platforms will be brought under the responsibility of Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, in the same way as traditional broadcasters, with the aim of leveling the playing field.

They will be subject to a new content law intended to protect the public from more harmful content, such as misleading health claims.

Viewers will be able to lodge a formal complaint with Ofcom, which will have enhanced powers of investigation and action, including imposing fines of up to £250,000 and, in the most serious and frequent cases, restricting the availability of the service in the UK.

International TV stations will need to make it easier for viewers to access video on demand from public broadcasting services, such as BBC iPlayer and ITVX, on smart TVs, set-top boxes and streaming devices.

In addition, streaming services will have to provide subtitles for 80% of their programmes, while 10% must be accompanied by audio descriptions and 5% with signed subtitles.

“Technology has revolutionized the way people enjoy TV and radio. The battle to attract and retain audiences has never been more fierce.” Lucy Fraser, UK Secretary of State for Culture, said, “British content and production are the best in the world, but Changing viewing habits has put traditional broadcasters under unprecedented pressure.

These new laws will put the giants of global broadcasting on a level playing field, ensuring that they meet the same high standards we have come to expect from public service broadcasters and that services like iPlayer and ITVX are easy to find, whatever TV you watch. »

The bill also has implications for newspapers, with a proposal to repeal Section 40 of the Crimes and Courts Act 2013. This article is designed to protect newspapers from people who seek to silence investigative reporting by filing unfounded complaints.

Newspapers would have been protected from having to pay plaintiffs’ costs in claims against them, while the plaintiff could have resorted to inexpensive arbitration.

“Repeal of Section 40 would be welcomed by the corrupt and powerful, who feared the impact this provision would have on their ability to intimidate small publishers with costly legal action,” says Nathan Sparks, general manager of the Hacked Off Campaign.

More than 200 independently regulated news organizations could benefit from cost protections under this ruling, but they are now poised to be stripped of this crucial protection. »

The bill also has implications for voice assistant platforms such as Google and Amazon, which would be required by law to ensure access to all licensed UK radio stations, from large national stations to smaller community stations.

They will be banned from charging stations for hosting on their services or from overlaying their own advertisements on those stations’ programs.

“With more radio listening done online and on voice assistants than ever before, it makes sense for the government to provide safeguards for the future that guarantee consumer choice and support the public value delivered by British radio services,” says Matt Payton, chief executive of Radiocentre.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Emma Woollacott

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