Three weeks ago I wrote to Tory MEP Christopher Beazley, who sits on the Committee which is considering the EU Draft Directive on broadcasting. I asked if he would be voting against it, as it seeks to regulate internet TV (threatening to close down internet TV stations like 18DoughtyStreet). I rather naively assumed that as a Conservative, Mr Beazley would not want to see jobs exported out of the EU or any regulation of the internet. Wrong.
Iain actually raised this with Nigel Farage last night and expressed the hope that Beazley would vote against the proposal. Nigel categorically stated that Beazley would not vote against the Directive. Oh, and in reponse to his enquiry as to how Beazley voted, guess what Iain received today?
The Committee voted unanimously (with the exception of one, believed to be UKIP) after a marathon session to accept the Rapporteur's compromise proposals which incorporated as much as possible of the Industry, Internal Market and associated Committee's proposals.
As I outlined to you in our previous correspondence my amendment to safeguard OFCOM's continuing responsibility in the UK and the 30 minute rule pertaining to advertising slots of Independent TV have been approved.
Blogs, private websites, internet applications whose primary purpose is not audiovisual are all excluded from the Daft Directive.
Internet based TV (non linear services), as anticipated will fall under the scope of the Directive which guarantees to the public the same level of consumer and legal protection as they currently expect from linear TV services. Your individual concerns for the future of your internet based service would appear to be allayed as the Draft Directive, as it stands, in no way threatens its future success.
As Iain says
I have just received this email from Christopher Beazley. Words fail me. His last paragraph is just plain deluded.
A vote for the Tories is... Oh hell, do I need to spell it out again? A vote for the main parties is a vote for more of the same. The Tories will even vote against an Internet TV station that is sympathetic to them (which shows, at least, a certain even-handedness).
If I was Iain I would be feeling... what's the word? Oh yes... betrayed.