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Internet Without Frontiers
In preventing an attempt by the European Union to regulate the "taste and decency" of video clips distributed through file sharing websites such as YouTube, the U.K.'s media watchdog Ofcom explained that "the plan was unworkable and would stifle creativity and investment in new media across Europe."

Planned revisions to the EU's Television Without Frontiers Directive (TVWF) would have made Europe's "national governments...responsible for regulating the internet for the first time." Ofcom argued that because "internet technology does not respect borders users would simply turn instead to websites in the US and elsewhere."

The planned regulations would have done more than just turn viewers to other websites, the revised TVWF Directive would have allowed EU members to restrict distribution of videos that challenge government authority. An article in The Washington Post recently discussed the "power of amateur hold the powerful to account." The article explained that Witness, a human rights watchdog, plans to launch a YouTube-like website to harness the "power of images and human stories to motivate change."

Ofcom and the European public won a major victory by blocking regulation of video distribution websites. The Orwellian-named Television Without Frontiers Directive already blocks the flow of ideas on television through broadcasting and production quotas and other regulatory requirements. It's time governments recognized that their citizens are mature enough to make their own viewing decisions. It's time for Europe to reinvigorate its people and economy by lifting existing broadcast restrictions.

  • See article in The Guardian
  • See Ofcom website
  • See European Union's TVWF website
  • See Washington Post article

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