Yesterday the European Commission published its proposed changes to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, with the headlines focusing on the need for content providers' catalogues to be made up of at least 20% European content.
Tom Guida, of counsel in Fieldfisher's Media Group, said:
"Some commentators have called this a 'tax' on the most prominent subscription-based on demand video platforms, but this is an over-reaction. The Commission itself acknowledged that over 20% of the content on these major platforms is already European and – irrespective of these regulations – most have stated that they intend to invest heavily in European programming because it has such a wide appeal around the world.
"These regulations have a bigger impact on the video sharing platforms [such as YouTube]. Under the regulations they will be obligated to take much stronger measures to protect minors and prevent hate speech – obligations which run counter to the context they're used to working with in the US, where the First Amendment allows much more freedom, both for the content creators and also the hosting platforms. Given the sheer volume of content that is uploaded, it is nigh on impossible for all content to be classified, and there are questions too over how they could enforce restrictions on minors."