Monday, May 6, 2013

News from U.K. - Regulations and competition

Three tidbits to pass along -

The mad rush to establish a  press oversight/regulatory body by Royal charter has been sidetracked.  The Prime Minister's office announced that their proposed charter will not be presented to the Queen later this month, as previously scheduled.
  The delay comes after strong negative reactions from the press, and the presentation of an alternative charter for a self-regulatory body to the Privy Council.  The Privy Council posted the newspaper industry's proposal for open content.  After the initial comment period (ends May 23, 2013), the council will consider whether to hold a full consideration of both proposals before making a recommendation and forwarding a Charter to the Queen.

One of the UK Newspaper Society's concern with the original charter proposal was the lack of any clear statement against government interference.  That concern was supported by a new Transparency Report from YouTube, which showed that UK government and police requests for removal of YouTube videos doubled in 2012.  These requests were made for alleged violation of national security or hate speech laws, or were critical of police practices.  The 124 cited requests did not include requests based on copyright violation or court orders.  Google reported rejecting about half of the requests.
  Some of the examples provided were basically requests to remove content that officials thought made them look bad.  If that's the standard that the government's hoping to be applied under the proposed News Regulatory body, that's something to worry about.

BT, formerly known as British Telecomm, announced a deal with the Press Association to provide news and editorial content for their relaunched website.  BT's been transitioning from phone service provider to online content service, having acquired ESPN's UK sports channels earlier and sports licensing deals with major European soccer associations.  The Press Association is UK's national news agency, providing news feeds to newspapers, newsrooms, and businesses across UK and Ireland.
PA's managing director, Tony Watson, said: "The agreement with PA and BT represents a significant moment in our evolution from traditional content supplier to provider and manager of multi-platform content and solutions."
Sources - Royal charter for press regulation delayed by ministers,  The Drum
UK requests removal of 124 YouTube videos,  CBR
Deal with Press Association will provide news and editorial content on relaunched BT website,  The Drum

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