Pressure Piles on to Fight New Law
Byline: By Steve Pain Technology Editor
The CBI has joined forces with business bodies in six other European countries to fight "onerous" new EU proposals to regulate audio-visual content delivered over the internet.
Seven organisations representing more than half a million businesses in the UK, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Hungary, Luxembourg and Switzerland have launched a joint paper objecting to new rules contained in the EU 'TV Without Frontiers' (TVWF) Directive.
They claim the EU is planning to extend existing regulations covering traditional broadcasters to all online audio-visual content, wherever and whenever it is downloaded or broadcast.
The pan-European submission argues that TVWF as drafted would shoehorn digital content providers into rules designed for traditional broadcasters, undermining high-value, high-tech economic growth when it should be stimulating it.
John Cridland, the CBI's deputy director-general, said: "As drafted, this onerous Directive will stifle economic growth, inhibit job creation and hamper the development of digital content and services across the EU.
"These new rules create unnecessary and unwanted red tape and duplicate well-regarded existing laws that already cover online service providers."
He added: "If they approve this, MEPs and EU ministers risk shooting themselves in the foot by undermining the goal of promoting an 'open and competitive digital economy' under the European Commission's i2010 programme.
"There is little in this Directive to help Europe's businesses compete in the fast-moving, highly competitive world of interactive digital services, broadcasting and advertising. Future European jobs are on the line."
Because they are web-based, these new forms of media do not transmit within the same borders or at the same allotted times as traditional TV channels. …