As a Canadian, I am used to hearing content providers complain about the negative impact of excessive government regulations. This time, though, the upset content providers are in Europe.
The European Commission is proposing that rules for traditional media be extended to new media, like content provided over broadband or mobile phones. Such regulations would include limits on hate speech, advertising and children-appropriate content. An alliance of companies, led by ITV, BT Group, Vodafone, Yahoo, Intel and Cisco, say that these rules could have unintended consequences. They say that enforcing the rules could lead to lower investment in the development of new content, leading to less innovation and higher prices. They said that the proposed law lacked clarity and would be difficult to enforce. “Citizen media such as blogs, video-casts and the like are one of the most exciting developments enabled by new technology. This phenomenon has the potential to create new businesses … but this proposed regulation severely risks stunting its growth,” the group said.
The EU didn’t respond to the group, but has repeatedly insisted that they don’t intend to regulate the internet. This isn’t likely going to be voted on until later this year. It would need the support of the European Parliament and 25 member governments in order to be approved.