On 28 June 2023, Coimisiún na Meán (CnaM) launched a consultation on the designation of video-sharing platform services (VSPSs) under the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (the OSMR), amending the Broadcasting Act 2009. The OSMR transposes the revised Audio-Visual Media Services Directive into Irish law, which requires Member States to ensure that VSPSs take appropriate measures to protect young people from harmful content and protect the general public from illegal content. It also requires Member States to ensure that VSPSs comply with advertising standards.

A VSPS is a service where:

  • the principal purpose of the service;
  • the principal purpose of a dissociable section of the service; or
  • an essential functionality of the service

is devoted to providing audio-visual programmes or user-generated videos or both, by electronic communications networks, to the general public, in order to inform, entertain or educate. Further, in order to qualify as a VSPS, the service provider must not have editorial control over the selection of programmes and videos on the service.

Under Section 139G of the Broadcasting Act 2009 as amended, CnaM must designate VSPSs as a category of relevant online services. This is a necessary first step in ensuring that VSPSs comply with online safety codes which will be developed and enforced by CnaM.

In this consultation, CnaM is inviting submissions on the following:

  1. CnaM’s proposal to discharge its obligation to designate VSPSs as a category of relevant online services, the providers of which are under the jurisdiction of the State; and
  2. The draft notice of VSPS category designation, contained at Appendix 2 of the CnaM consultation document.

CnaM invites submissions from:

  • Interested members of the public
  • Technology Ireland, the representative group of VSPSs
  • The VSPSs established in Ireland
  • Any other interested parties

Any submissions made will be taken account of in the decision regarding the category designation of VSPSs. Note that this consultation relates to the designation of VSPSs as a category of relevant online services, not the designation of individual VSPSs.

All responses to the consultation must be submitted to CnaM by 12 noon on 26 July 2023. Submissions must be made in writing via email or by post to VSPSdesignation@cnam.ie or Caroline Keville, VSPS Category Designation, Coimisiún na Meán, 2-5 Warrington Place, Dublin 2.

If you would like further information on this topic, please contact A&L Goodbody’s Commercial & Technology team.

Also contributed to by Gavin Dowd.