The Audiovisual Media Services Directive establishes the framework for the regulation of audiovisual media services in the European Union. The current Directive applies to linear broadcasting services, i.e. traditional television, and, in a limited way, to non-linear services, i.e. on-demand services such as the RTÉ Player. The Broadcasting Act 2009 established the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland as the independent regulator for linear broadcasting services, both television and radio in Ireland.
In May 2016, the European Commission published its proposal to revise the AVMS Directive. The revision will require an increase in the level of oversight by Member States of on-demand audiovisual media services, which are currently not regulated by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland but are subject to a co-regulatory code overseen by the On Demand Audiovisual Services Group (ODAS), the secretariat of which is provided by IBEC.
The revision to the Directive will also require Ireland to introduce a co-regulatory system to ensure that Video Sharing Platform Services (e.g. YouTube) have measures in place to protect users and minors from harmful audiovisual content hosted on these services. These measures will only apply to audiovisual content hosted on these specific services, and will not apply for example to user comments, text content or to the internet generally.
It is expected that a final text of the revised Directive will be available in the Autumn, and Ireland will have two years to implement these changes. My Department intends to conduct a public consultation on the final text of the revised Directive, including how we should approach the co-regulation of Audiovisual Content on Video-Sharing Platform Services.