Insights Repeal of the UK video sharing platform regime: Commencement of transition period


Part 4B of the UK Communications Act 2003 regulates certain video-sharing platform services (“VSPs”), a type of online service that allows users to upload and share videos with the public, which fall within the UK jurisdiction. VSPs are required, amongst other things, to notify their services to Ofcom and to protect their users from harmful content.

The Online Safety Act 2023 (“OSA”), which received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023, will repeal Part 4B of the Communications Act on a date still to be determined by the Government, bringing VSPs within the scope of the Online Safety Act instead. On 10 January 2024, all pre-existing, UK-established VSPs (i.e. that currently fall within the scope of the Communications Act) entered a transition period.

On 11 January, Ofcom published guidance on the repeal process and what will happen before and after the transition period. If a VSP had an obligation to notify its service to Ofcom before the transition period under the current VSP regime, it is now subject to both the existing VSP regime and the OSA. However, VSPs currently only need to comply with certain provisions of the OSA; responding to any Ofcom demands for information and notification for the purposes of the determination of fees. VSPs notifying their services to Ofcom after 10 January will be regulated solely under the OSA.

The guidance states that the Government must give at least six months’ notice of the date of the repeal of the VSP regime.

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