The European legal framework for video-sharing platforms

| 29 August 2018

What rules do video-sharing platforms – such as YouTube and DailyMotion – have to respect? And how is European legislation adapting to these new players? These questions are dealt with in a new legal report from the European Audiovisual Observatory.

This new report analyses how European legislation handles video-sharing platforms (from here on called VSPs), how their role and responsibilities are defined, and where European legislation is heading, regarding e.g. the current review of the AVMS Directive.

What about today's framework?
To start with, the report places the online platforms market in the context of the entire audiovisual system. It explores the legal difficulty of defining what a VSP is in national and European legislation, and offers an overview of the current European legal framework applicable to VSPs.

Need for stricter regulation?
When looking at national transposition of the European legislation applicable to VSPs, the authors identify both country differences and a seemingly growing conviction that VSPs require stricter regulation, e.g. new laws to tackle disinformation online or measures to oblige VSPs to contribute to the financial ecosystem of the audiovisual sector.

As for self-regulatory initiatives, the report describes how the VSPs have developed their own guidelines and tools to protect groups of users, and provides a list of online advertising self-regulatory organizations on the European and global levels.

Where is the legislation heading?
Finally, the report investigates where current European legislation of VPSs is heading. It tracks the new developments proposed as part of the ongoing review of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), and covers the current revision of the Copyright Directive, which will contain provisions to regulate VSPs.

In addition, it looks at the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy, which includes initiatives to protect consumers and also addresses the tricky question of levying taxes upon these companies which are active in Europe and part of the online financial ecosystem.

Read more and download the report

Related reading from the European Audiovisual Observatory
Online video sharing: Offerings, audiences, economic aspects (PDF)


About the European Audiovisual Observatory: This European public service body is comprised of 40 member states and the European Union, represented by the European Commission. It provides information on the various audiovisual markets in Europe and their financing, and analyses and reports on the legal issues affecting the different sectors of the audiovisual industry. Read more



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