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Playboy TV wins appeal on UK on-demand services

Playboy TV UK/Benelux has won an appeal to regulator Ofcom against a fine levied by UK video-on-demand regulator ATVOD after providing that key parts of its operation where being run from Canada, after control of the operation was passed on to Playboy Plus. 

The move of key operations to Canada placed the service outside ATVOD’s jurisdiction. According to ATVOD, the success of the appeal was based on the submission of evidence from Playboy TV UK/Benelux that was never offered to ATVOD.

Ofcom noted that “there was a genuine reallocation of responsibility within the corporate group” resulting in a transfer of editorial responsibility for the service to Canada.

ATVOD had originally found that Playboy TV UK/Benelux was in breach of its rules requiring adult on-demand services to keep hardcore material behind access controls that meant it was beyond the reach of minors. The UK company was later fined £100,000 (€120,000).

“This is a complex area and the appeal system is a vital part of  the process, giving service providers, in particular, greater clarity over issues such as where regulatory responsibility lies when two or more parties are involved. In this case, it is unfortunate that ATVOD was not provided with all relevant information at the appropriate time – doing so ensures that unnecessary regulatory costs are avoided,” said ATVOD CEO Pete Johnson.