If a corporate content provider in the U.S. wants to upload videos to YouTube, all it essentially needs to do is find someone who knows how to upload videos to YouTube. Then: profit! In the UK, it's done differently – so much so that it sounds like everyone is confused. A regulatory body called The Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) oversees on-demand services, including content posted online on branded aggregator sites like Virgin Media as well as open sites like YouTube. Content providers like the BBC, Nickelodeon and MTV that show on-demand content that is "television like," that are editorially responsible for the content, and that make it available to the public need to pay a yearly fee to ATVOD.

Here's where things get sticky: The BBC posted clips of its Top Gear and BBC Food programs on its YouTube channel, each clip less than ten minutes. According to The Telegraph, it didn't check with ATVOD about as to its obligations. The ATVOD checked out the clips and said 'these are television-like, so you owe us £2,900 for each channel (that's about $4,600 USD).' The BBC said that clips of less than ten minutes – a fraction of the length of the program on television – are short-form content being watched by people on the move, and thus not television-like.

The ATVOD responded to this by basically saying "bollocks." Since the BBC content in question satisfies the ATVOD's entire checklist for matters it regulates, the clips in question are "television-like" enough to justify the fee. The BBC joins a long line of media outlets including newspapers and magazines questioning ATVOD decisions, such as rulings that a company that makes a show is responsible for the editorial content of an on-demand show and needs to pay ATVOD as opposed to the broadcaster of the show paying ATVOD. It isn't just big guns that ATVOD goes after, either, its call for licensing fees having shut down more than one independent site offering content like amateur short films. The BBC is appealing, and it looks like clarification will have to come from the UK courts.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Sugaki
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why the heck do they need to pay this parasitical "regulatory" body? Sounds like "protection" money to me.
      Charlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't worry - nobody except the BBC takes ATVOD seriously in the UK. ATVOD is a kind of regulatory pirate ship, which aims to pillage £2900 from anyone who will pay. Only the BBC, a few of the bigger broadcasters and a couple porn channels have agreed - the rest of us ignore ATVOD's letters.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Charlie
        Precisely, and the BBC only do so because they're publicly funded.
      xspeedy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like this organization collects money while providing no value to the "customers" it charges. Wait, isn't that the mafia?
        SatinSheetMetal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @xspeedy
        The mafia was at least responsible for bringing alcohol into the country during prohibition. I'm sure many people were thankful then.
      A P
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stupid Brits and crazy control they have over peoples lives......with a camera spying on their every move to make it even more disgusting.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @A P
        And despite all the anti-UK and indeed, anti-European rhetoric you churn out, the UK remains a country with a far better quality of life than most other industrialised countries, the US included.
          A P
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          HA, you just show over and over again how dumb you really are. The UK used to be a proud nation, now it is a state bent on spying on its subjects and stomping out free expression. It is a shame that such a noble nation has become so degenerate in how it spies on its people.
          Gavin Courntey
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          The UK is ranked 29th in the quality of life index while the US is ranked 13th: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_Index Contrary to what you say the UK has one of the worst standards of living amongst developed countries. Please check your facts before posting nonsense.
      A P
      • 2 Years Ago
      The idiots that defend how Europe and the UK steal and spy on its people need to understand what is really happening. Just like the frog slowing dying as the water temp heads to boiling, Western Europe is slowly becoming becoming more and more Socialized in the name of "safety" and "fairness". They steal from their people by 60% income tax rates, a VAT and massive fuel taxes that force the use of cancer causing diesel fuel. If one thinks that massive government that invades every part of a persons life is a good thing then they are delusional. There is no defense for it. This country was founded because of these very issues...freedom to buy what you want, sell what you want, keep the vast majority of your own income and pray how you want without some European to tell you that you are wrong or stupid. Now everyday we have the loser Euro-trash telling us here in America how wrong we do things......it is hysterical. Whats even more funny is that there are loser leftists here in the US that actually believe these degenerates. Every article posted on how Europe invades even the most simple of things points this out.
      P
      • 2 Years Ago
      ...Jeez, and media companies wonder why young people see nothing wrong with stealing their product anymore? Much like American Media corporations, the BBC tries to block content from going online even by legitimate means, giving everyone an incentive to post and share it for free -- without revenue. They're literally creating a market of theft where none existed! I clipped my cable for good earlier this year and still get everything I want, mostly legit but some not. Given their service and greed, I couldn't give 2¢ about those companies.
      Klinkster
      • 2 Years Ago
      And they wonder why the UK economy is crap, their citizens are unemployed, and their currency worthless. Might as well charge a breathing tax...that's the UK for ya!
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      The ATVOD are outkicking their coverage. They will lose any fight against the beeb.
      AMoSR
      • 2 Years Ago
      I tought Bosnia is worst in this matter, but seems there are worse dictator's TV regulation agencies!
      breakfastburrito
      • 2 Years Ago
      "England Prevails!" ...england prevails...
      Toyota ft-86
      • 2 Years Ago
      lol bollucks
    • Load More Comments