EC supports its online broadcasting proposal

By EDRi · June 21, 2006

In an Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) event held in Brussels on
14 June, Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media,
expressed again her position to support the EC proposal to revise the
Television Without Frontiers (TVWF) Directive.

“There will be no regulation of the Internet,” Mrs. Reding told ZDNet UK
stating that the extension of the Directive is supposed to provide basic
rules to protect minors online, and to prevent incitement to hatred and
over-repeated advertising.

The Commissioner also said that the proposed provisions are only basic tier
rules and self-regulation can be supported better by a legal framework. The
Government would intervene only when self-regulation does not work.

While the Commissioner considers the Directive will be beneficial to the
Internet business, the industry and the Internet community expressed concern
that the Directive would lead to the regulation of the content on the

The Confederation of British Industry thinks that the Directive will “stifle
economic growth, inhibit job creation and hamper the development of digital
content and services across the EU”. Other representatives of the Industry
such as Microsoft, Google or Verizon expressed concerns regarding the scope
of the legislation and the problem of jurisdiction and enforcement. They
believe the already existing legislation is enough and efficient in
protecting children and consumers and that self-regulation is the right

Professor Michael Rotert, president of the European Internet Service
Providers Association (EuroISPA), considers the Directive as a regulation of
the Internet “through the backdoor” and thinks: “Regulated self-regulation
will be misused immediately, when it comes into practice”.

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