Lord Davies: Digital Economy Bill does not not grant Ofcom any powers to regulate newspaper websites

The report stage of the Digital Economy Bill in the Lords threw up a little nugget on Monday night that might go some way to allaying concerns in the press that Ofcom might end up regulating some audio/video content on newspaper websites.

Lord Davies of Oldham, the minister in charge, said the Bill did ‘not grant Ofcom any powers to regulate newspaper websites, including audiovisual content’after PCC chairman Baroness Peta Buscombe raised concerns about possible Ofcom regulation of newspaper websites.

It’s an issue the PCC has been keen to stress as its own voluntary code covers these titles and statutory regulation is unwelcome in any corner of the press.

(It’s the debate around Amendment 9 if you’re looking for it amongst the reams of material on Hansard – worth a quick read as it also covers the trickier problem of mixed public service and newspaper audio/visual material)

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