Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Television With Very Distinct Frontiers

It's been a while since I've blogged on the EU's proposed Television Without Frontiers directive, but the publishing of their proposed directive document bothers me.

Broadly, TVWF has two objectives:

1. To harmonise regulations for broadcast TV across Europe - although what problem this is set to solve is beyond me
2. To regulate video delivery over the internet -

I wish they'd stick to fiddling their expense forms and creating useless corrupt infrastructure projects in the middle of nowhere. (Although, admittedly, the recent proposal to allow cross border sales of cheap alcohol over the internet seems to be a rare benefit from Brussels...)

For those of you with patience and excellent eyesight, the full text of the directive can be read here.

There are some obvious provisions, such as extending the ban on tobacco advertising into the online environment, but there are also some patently stupid comments like the need to differentiate between linear and non-linear in a two tier system'. Er... why ? What's the difference. Scheduled channels are set to become non-linear programmes (which you can pause, stop, rewind, forward, etc..) set in a linear context (a schedule).

Trying to regulate or curtail product placement is just dumb, especially where the major provider of content, the US, cannot be covered.

And therein lies the answer to this wasteful initiative - just move everything offshore to the US, where the directive will not apply...

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