Media / Talk of the Trade: Control hitch on porn channel

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The Independent Online
LAWYERS at the Department of National Heritage are still debating how to act against Red Hot Dutch, the hard porn satellite channel. The European Commission says it can simply declare the UK-based company that runs the channel in breach of the European directive on broadcasting. However, the 1990 Broadcasting Act rules that regulatory responsibility lies with the country from which the signal is uplinked (in Red Hot Dutch's case, Denmark). The Act would therefore need to be amended to give the British government clear legal powers over satellite companies owned by UK companies, wherever they broadcast from. However, this might cause problems for the future regulation of ITV.

Should any of the franchises in the longer term be bought up by European media groups domiciled outside the United Kingdom, regulation of these more mainstream programmes might prove tricky.

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