Another one for the “is there anything they won’t try to regulate?” file:
THE Government is seeking to prevent an EU directive that could extend broadcasting regulations to the internet, hitting popular video-sharing websites such as YouTube.
The European Commission proposal would require websites and mobile phone services that feature video images to conform to standards laid down in Brussels.
Ministers fear that the directive would hit not only successful sites such as YouTube but also amateur “video bloggers” who post material on their own sites. Personal websites would have to be licensed as a “television-like service”.
Viviane Reding, the Media Commissioner, argues that the purpose is simply to set minimum standards on areas such as advertising, hate speech and the protection of children.
But Shaun Woodward, the Broadcasting Minister, described the draft proposal as catastrophic. He said: “Supposing you set up a website for your amateur rugby club, uploaded some images and added a link advertising your local sports shop. You would then be a supplier of moving images and need to be licensed and comply with the regulations.”
Not that this is a big surprise; the European Union is practically synonymous with bureaucratic over-reach and hyper-regulation. But still, shouldn’t common sense kick in at some point?