LONDON — U.K. communications regulator Ofcom issued an opinion today upholding a decision by video-on-demand authority ATVOD against adult entertainment site DaisyRockUK.com, which was hit with a determination that it must register as an on-demand service.
Last year, the operator of DaisyRockUK.com acted to put porn material out of reach of children once notified of a separate Rule 11 violation and that complaint was dismissed, ATVOD said. Rule 11 requires an effective system that verifies that the user is 18 or over at the point of registration.
But the site’s operator also lodged an appeal with Ofcom against another decision that the site’s service falls within the scope of statutory rules that define TV-like programming, which makes it subject to ATVOD registration and payment of fees.
“The provider of the DaisyRockUK service had argued that the principal purpose of the website was to operate as a ‘fan club’ for an adult porn performer and that the video content was not comparable to TV programs,” according to ATVOD. “[The provider] also argued that the low turnover of the service meant it was neither mass-media nor in competition with TV services and therefore placed it outside the scope of the directive.”
The operator of the site, Brightonrock Communications Ltd., maintained in the appeal that the site, which paid tribute to British porn performer Daisy Rock, was primarily non-economic and therefore not within the jurisdiction of ATVOD.
The site’s operator also argued that there “must come a point at which video content was so niche, with viewership figures so limited and turnover so low, that it could not sensibly be considered to be in competition with linear television, regardless of the other factors relating to comparability.”
However, today, Ofcom upheld the original ATVOD decision over Rules 1 and 4, which require “TV-like” operators to sign up and pay fees. A fine was not disclosed Friday.
This ruling makes clear that “U.K. adult video-on-demand websites can’t get out of being regulated — and being subject to child protection rules — by being too explicit or having low revenues,” ATVOD CEO Pete Johnson told XBIZ.