In a surprise move, Ofcom and ATVOD have announced that the regulation of video-on-demand services will be removed from ATVOD (to whom it was delegated) and brought in-house in Ofcom from 1st January.
This is potentially very significant, although the ramifications are unknown at present. Certainly, ATVOD has failed to offer value for money: at a cost to industry of around £500,000 per year, its only action of note has been to force a number of small porn companies out of business, and drive others out of the UK. Although it claims a remit to “protect minors”, it is hard to see how it has achieved this.
Ofcom is a huge and powerful regulator, with TV censorship among its many roles, and is very likely lobbying for a strong Internet censorship role: something this campaign was brought into existence to oppose.
So a cheerful farewell to ATVOD, which most certainly won’t be missed by the porn industry. The question remains though as to whether this move will be for better or worse.