Thursday, July 31, 2008

Unlevel Playing Field

The disparity between the regulations that broadcasters in the UK, such as ITV, and Google trade under are truly ludicrous. You either regulate video content or you don't. YouTube's self regulation is laughable, but that's the nature of unmoderated content. Now it seems that the legislators are waking up to this.

This is a long standing issue - are ISPs responsible for the websites on their service, or are publishers responsible for what their authors write?

Personally, I believe that there's a simple measure for this. Any party benefiting commercially from the provision of content (not services) should be regulated. YouTube should be brought under Television Without Frontiers regulations.

And this isn't an issue isolated to the UK; there is an increasingly long list of countries where YouTube has been banned. But there is a dark side to this. I reckon that the only reason more countries haven't blocked YouTube is that its influence is not yet significant, but this may change and there is a danger of political censorship overtaking moral censorship.

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