Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How Did Christopher Beazley Vote?

Yesterday a committee of the European Parliament voted on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. This is the Directive which threatens the future of internet TV stations like 18DoughtyStreet - obviously a subject close to my heart. Tory MEP Christopher Beazley sits on this committee. See HERE. When he last corresponded with me he indicated that he would be voting with the EPP line and supporting the Directive, with all its unnecessary regulation.

I have been trying to find out today whether he did vote in favour of it or not. Astonishingly, votes in these Committees are not recorded. I have emailed him, but last time it took three weeks to get a reply, so I am not holding my breath.

I know I have a number of readers in the European Parliament. Would anyone know the answer to my question?

UPDATE: I have just received this email from Christopher Beazley. Words fail me. His last paragraph is just plain deluded.

Iain,

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.

Christopher

31 comments:

Paul Linford said...

Press coverage of this story has been simply dreadful. Because YouTube and MySpace are no longer under any threat of regulation, the Government is presenting it as a great victory, and everyone (apart from you) seems to have bought the spin. Of course, the real story here is the future of internet TV, not the future of video streaming.

Samuel Coates said...

Blogs, private websites, internet applications whose primary purpose is not audiovisual are all excluded from the Daft Directive.

Freudian slip?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Iain,

How do you feel about this? If I were you I would be feeling... well... cheated. Angry. Possibly apoplectic. Here is your own party voting against your project, a project that actively supports them. You see why I, a Tory voter in every election, hae deserted them?

You can join UKIP here...

DK

Ian Thorpe said...

It proves the EU does not really understand the internet.
Nut I worked in Luxembourg for a while - they don't understand anything except enormous piles of paper.

clive said...

How do we get this man deselected?

His email response to me was really odd as he said that his intention was not to regulate the internet but then went on to say he would agree to regulate it in the same way as the broadcast media is regulated:

"The directive simply updates existing legislation for the on-demand age by extending the same level of consumer protection already applied to linear transmission to non-linear services."

I told him that I could not see how this is an update. Surely it is a new set of regulations to cover a new area of media delivery. Yet the new media is very different from the old. Since then, silence. Why bother with one oik, eh?

We need less regulation and not more. That has always been the Tory position and he seems not to either understand this or he ignores it.

uk-events said...

Does it make a real difference? Couldn't this just be hosted outside the EU?

I don't support this guy and think the decision is idiotic but thankfully the net isn't under their control.

Mark WIlliams said...

Iain, I suggest that you just take a deep breath and read the directive. It distinguishes what it calls linear TV (push services) from what it calls non-linear TV (video-on-demand and similar). Beazley seems to think that your service falls under the non-linear TV category, although this is arguably wrong. *If* Beazley is correct then 18DoughtyStreet falls under the light regulatory regime, and unless you are planning to show porn, target ads at minors or run trobacco adverts, there is nothing to touble you.

Average guy on the street said...

I like the odd definition of "unanimous"! Last time I checked unanimous meant that everyone was in agreement.

Anonymous said...

With this, as with many other areas of UK law, I just do not understand why the EU needs to be involved at all.

bt said...

When you canvass in the next election you'll be expected to justify everything these stupid bastards do as examples of 'constructive engagement with Europe'.

But only if you stay a Tory.
Personally, I'm glad I cancelled my membership. It's such a relief not to have to make excuses for them anymore.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I'm not clear what the story is here. Surely you don't object to being on a level playing field with other media, such as the BBC?

Otherwise, what is to stop the likes of Omar Bakri Mohammed using the internet to continue broadcasting ?

Or have I missed the point you are trying to make ? If so, please forgive me - but I think some further explanation may help us.

ian said...

So given that the current government were broadly against the directive, and the tories voted for it, are you changing sides?

Anonymous said...

Paul Linford doesn't understand this issue. No wonder he was just a local lobby hack!

He is confusing the Council of Ministers (where the UK govt has influence) with the European parliament Culture Committee.

Praguetory said...

Iain - a few logical steps. One like me you believe the EU needs to be reformed and the tide of EU regulation reversed. Two, you are a Tory. Three, the existing Europhile MEPs are not going to provide the leadership required to form a new five member state grouping. Conclusion - do something constructive Kick Kirkhope. The likes of Beasley will fall into line if you take out the leader. Time to go with your political instincts and act.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I see the UKIP leader was correct

Pogo said...

To follow on from johnny norfolk...

Have you had an "I told you so" phonecall from Nigel Farage? :-)

Anonymous said...

Ian Thorpe says "It proves the EU does not really understand the internet".

Of course they damn well do. Any threat to their fascist,Orwellian agenda like 18Doughty Street needs to be controlled or eradicated. (a bit like our county councils et al)

clive said...

Since when was any regulation from Brussels 'light regulation'.

Beazley said he wanted to have the same 'consumer protection' for the internet as for broadcast. That is not 'light'.

Buster George said...

Iain it would seem that the EU are not the only ones out to control the internet it would seem that it is happening in the US as well

Anonymous said...

This is a crazy post from you Iain not in terms of your content but in terms of that letter- it just doesn't make sense at all I take it to mean that protection is removed from your station.

Marqueza said...

The law is a wonderful thing and everyone should comply with it. Except of course me, I'm different you see.

Anonymous said...

"just plain deluded" - Iain, I am afraid that that is Beazley and half of Kirhope's Tory MEPs for you. What is really interesting is their words during the selection process. You will not hear many boasting about their record of supporting the EPP in this non-sensical and sheeplike way. If Kirkhope had any balls, he would use his position to make a stand and vote against these types of proposal - perhaps that way he could persuade the other sensible centre right parties in the European Parliamnet that our new group with have some teeth - and is thus worth joining in 2009!

Johannes said...

The people dominating this directive in the European Parliament are the Germans. They have the main rapporteur and several shadows in the various committees.

Traditional broadcasters, who are of course very wary of new so far unregulated new media, of course want to regulate this new competition to their standards.

Being honourable MEPs, anybody who sits on the board of a broadcaster would not dream of getting involved, let alone be the main rapporteur in the lead committee, in this directive for fear of a conflict of interest...

Anonymous said...

The Committee voted unanimously with the exception of one.

It's not unanimous then is it?

the man is a pratt.

Praguetory said...

Speaking as someone who has spoken to people present at ODS MEP discussions, with the current rudderless/Europhile Conservative leadership in Brussels, not only will we not attract any new members to our fledgling grouping, but it is doubtful the ODS will join in 2009. An open goal is begging.

Chuck Unsworth said...

'Blogs, private websites, internet applications whose primary purpose is not audiovisual are all excluded from the Daft Directive.' Daft Directive indeed...

Still at least that's from the horse's mouth - or maybe the other end of its alimentary
canal.

Anonymous said...

What a total "see you next tuesday" Beazley is.

Someone deselect him. Please.

Anonymous said...

What a total "see you next tuesday" Beazley is.

Someone deselect him. Please.

Lagwolf said...

We should all be pushing for total deregulation of broadcasting not adding more things to regulate. This MEP might consider himself Conservative but he certainly does not want to conserve free speech.

The Remittance Man said...

Bad as this is I see an opening for some capitalist scallywag to make oodles of money.

First find a country with very loose laws and an easily bribed legislature outside the orbit of the eu. Then set up a high bandwidth hosting centre.

Finally convince the operators of internet based tv stations to use your service. The interweb is borderless after all.

It's basically what that Omar Bakhri chap and all the other terrorists are doing with their snuff movies and training courses. So why shouldn't the Godly take a leaf out of their book (and make a bit of dosh on the side).

I have the techies of Remittance Interweb Entertainment (Virgin Islands) examining this opportunity as we speak.

For RIE(VI) the only problem will be squeezing serious internet tv programmes between the adult educational movies that are its stock in trade. They can't deprive all those little old ladies in Bournmouth of their fat dividend cheques after all.

Anonymous said...

Camerons www.europeanreform.eu is a policy cop out