Vice UK wins appeal on UK VOD requirements

DetailsEditor | 22 July 2015

Ofcom has overruled on appeal the decision by the UK's independent co-regulator for video-on-demand (VOD) content to hold Vice UK liable to statutory requirements for VOD services.

The UK's broadcast regulator was reacting to an appeal against a determination by the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) that Vice UK's website constituted on-demand programme services and was therefore subject to regulation under the Communications Act. Indeed ATVOD determined that Vice UK should be regarded as an on-demand programme service (ODPS) for the purposes of Part 4A of the Communications Act 2003 (the Act).

In reaching its decision to overthrow the ruling, Ofcom considered not only ATVOD's determination but also the submissions provided by the Appellant and further information provided at Ofcom's request regarding relevant legislation including the Communications Act and the audio visual media services (AVMS) directive.

ATVOD's case was that the Vice (Video) tab is an ODPS service as it appears. Yet new information provided to Ofcom showed that the person with editorial responsibility for the Vice (video) tab was established in the United States and outside the jurisdiction of the Act. Therefore, said Ofcom, it had to uphold the appeal and quash ATVOD's determination. Ofcom also noted that, since ATVOD made its determination, Vice Media has made changes to the layout and design of and Vice (Video) and has launched a new venture, Vice News.