LONDON — The parent company of affiliate program MNSCash.com has breached federal regulations by not registering its websites and paying fees for video-on-demand programming, ATVOD officials say.
ATVOD, the agency that regulates VOD in the U.K., has filed five determinations over 10 sites owned by MNS Media, a West Yorkshire online adult company that offers "U.K. glamour model member websites."
All entities that stream VOD content from within the U.K. under the statutory definition of On Demand Programme Services act — whether it be web, mobile, TV or IPTV— must pay regulatory fees and serve notification with independent co-regulator ATVOD.
MNS Media websites determined to be violating ATVOD's Rule 1 and Rule 4 include Anastasia-Harris.com, JodieGasson.com, Lucy-Anne.com, Lucy-V.com, Mellisa-Clarke.com, Sammi-Jo.com, Geena-Mullins.com, OfficialTommieJo.com, Gracie-Lewis.com and ThisIsGlamour.com.
While ATVOD does not have the power to levy fines for noncompliance, it refers cases to communications regulatory agency Ofcom for further investigation and possible fines.
ATVOD spokeswoman Susan Robinson told XBIZ that the agency "will consider in due course whether to refer the matter to Ofcom."
In February, MNS Media stated in an email to ATVOD officials that "[W]e are not a VOD site. We have video content as part of a site subscription that includes video, pictures, interactive members forum and blogs." Later, in its last communication with ATVOD, an email said the company's address is in Mallorca.
MNS Media, which offers free and subscription access to the adult sites, contended to ATVOD officials through email that their company isn't run on U.K. soil; however regulators found otherwise.
"It appears to ATVOD that the evidence suggests MNS Media is the provider of the service and falls within U.K. jurisdiction," ATVOD officials said.
Authorities said that a simple Whois check showed that the domain is registered to Scott Ninness in the town of Dewsbury in the U.K.'s West Yorkshire. They also said that 2257 compliance statements listed the same Dewsbury address.
"ATVOD has also received email communication from MNS Media regarding the service from its social media and marketing director who has a U.K. mobile number," ATVOD officials said. "Taken together, this evidence suggests to ATVOD that a significant part of the workforce involved in the service operates in the U.K."
XBIZ emails for comment to Ninness and another MNS Media staffer weren't returned by post time.