Video Recordings Act 1984 (Exempted Video Works) Regulations 2014

 By Oliver Kichenside and Alasdair Muller

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has published regulations (“Regulations”) that amend the Video Recordings Act 1984 (“Act”).

The Act requires video works to be classified by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) before they can be sold in the UK. Previously, videos (other than video games) in physical formats (for example, DVDs) were exempt from such requirements if, taken as a whole, they were designed to inform, educate or instruct, or were concerned with sport, religion or music.

However, under the Regulations, which come in to force on 1 October 2014, this exemption will be removed so that music, sports, religious and educational videos will have to be classified if they contain material unsuitable for children.

The Regulations will not apply to the supply of a video work which was first placed on the market prior to 1 October 2014.

Online videos are also outside the scope of the Regulations. However, the UK music industry and the BBFC have announced a separate pilot scheme, also launched on 1 October 2014, for the age rating of online music videos. Consequently, music videos from the UK collection of each of Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music which contain “material unsuitable for younger children” will in future display content information and a BBFC age rating in “search results and alongside the video player” on websites including YouTube and Vevo.

A copy of the Regulations can be found here.

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China to get new subscription streaming service

By Richard Wageman

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and American entertainment company Lionsgate announced on 15 July they will launch a subscription streaming service on the Chinese mainland that will offer content including the Twilight and Hunger Games films.

The service, named Lionsgate Entertainment World, will be available from August exclusively through Alibaba’s Internet television set-top boxes, according to an Alibaba statement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cultural Test (Video Games) Regulations come into force

The Cultural Test (Video Games) Regulations (“Regulations”) came into force today (19 August 2014).

The Regulations introduce a “cultural test” for video games, with points being awarded on the basis of setting, content, language, the British cultural aspects of the game, where certain work on the game is carried out and the residence or nationality of the creators of the video game. 

A game will pass the test if it scores at least 16 points; this allows the game’s development company to apply for their work to be certified as a British video game, a condition of eligibility for video games tax relief. 

The Regulations also stipulate what evidence must be provided alongside the application to the Secretary of State, including a statutory declaration made on behalf of the company as to the truth of the particulars given in the application.

A copy of the statutory instrument can be found here.

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UK Anti-Doping Secure First Lifetime Ban

By Alasdair Muller and Patrick Mitchell

UK Anti-Doping (“UKAD“) have secured their first lifetime ban from sport after successfully prosecuting two individuals for multiple anti-doping rule violations.

Earlier this year Philip Tinklin was convicted by Cardiff Crown Court for conspiring to supply anabolic steroids.

Despite not being officially affiliated to any sporting organisation, Philip Tinklin’s involvement in the sport of boxing - transporting his own and other children to Welsh Amateur Boxing Association events - was found to be sufficient for him to be classified as “Athlete Support Personnel”, bringing him under the jurisdiction of UKAD.

The independent National Anti-Doping Panel found Tinklin to be in breach of the following anti-doping rules:

  •  Possession of one or more prohibited substances;
  • Trafficking or attempted trafficking of prohibited substances; and
  • Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting or covering up or any other type of complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation or any attempted anti-doping rule violation.

Philip Tinklin was banned for life.

Tinklin’s daughter Sophie, an amateur boxing champion, was also found in breach and received a four year ban after the Anti-Doping Tribunal rejected the argument that she was not aware of “what essentially amounted to the family business of anabolic steroid supply”.

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Data Protection Laws

We’re pleased to remind you about our “Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook”, covering over 70 territories.
To access the Handbook please visit here.
This Handbook offers a quick overview of the areas of data protection law that have the most practical significance to businesses, including:

  • International data transfer restrictions;
  • Security obligations;
  • Breach notification requirements;
  • Enforcement;
  • Electronic marketing; and
  • Online privacy, including cookies and location data.

New features of the improved online format of the Handbook include:

  • Heat map – a visual representation of the level of regulation and enforcement in a number of jurisdictions around the world;
  • Comparison option – the ability to compare and contrast laws in different jurisdictions in a side-by-side view;
  • Single jurisdiction download – the option to create a PDF of a single country for ease of frequent reference;
  • Full Handbook download – the ability to download a PDF version of the entire Handbook;
  • Mobile optimised – the Handbook is suitable for accessing on your personal mobile device.

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EU sanctions against Russia

By Dr Ludger Giesberts, Dr Thilo Streit, Prof Dr Juergen Taschke and Dr Christian Schoop

The European Union has adopted economic sanctions against Russia – the latest step relating to the protection of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Earlier this year, the Council of the European Union had already adopted sanctions against certain Russian individuals, a list that has gradually expanded to encompass individual companies and organizations.

Companies that export goods to Russia or import from Russia, provide services in Russia or cooperate with the Russian financial market should take care concerning the new EU sanctions.

Read the rest of this entry »

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FRANCE: A French Court orders a Swiss company selling French game tickets over the Internet to prevent French Internet users from accessing part of its websites

By Florence Guthfreund-Roland & Mathilde Hallé

On April 10, 2014, the Court of First Instance of Paris found that VIAGOGO, a Swiss company operating a website selling sports tickets on the Internet, had no right to sell tickets for a French soccer game organized by the French Professional Soccer League. On that basis, the Swiss company was ordered to take appropriate steps to prevent French Internet users from accessing the content of its online communication service on several of its websites. Read the rest of this entry »

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Consultation on the enforcement of scheduling of television advertising

By Alasdair Muller and Patrick Mitchell

Ofcom has published a consultation document regarding various approaches to the enforcement of scheduling of television advertising.

Both Ofcom’s own Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising (COSTA) and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive place restrictions on the insertion of internal advertising breaks within programmes, based on factors including the “scheduled duration” of the programmes in question, although neither define this term.

The consultation primarily focuses on a choice between four different methods of calculating a programme’s “scheduled duration” Read the rest of this entry »

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ITALY – Internet liability rules change (again) after Wikipedia case

Internet liability rules applicable to Wikipedia are different from the ones with which YouTube has to comply according to the Court of Rome as Wikipedia has now been declared not liable to for the defamatory contents published by its users.  Read the rest of this entry »

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New report on telecommunications market in the EU

By Patrick Mitchell and Chris Elliott

The European Commission has published a new report on the telecommunications market and regulation in the EU.  The report covers the period from January 2012 to December 2013 and covers a variety of regulatory issues including, among others: market regulation, broadband plans and financing, access and interconnection, consumer issues, universal service and net neutrality.

You can read the report here.

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