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Content providers criticize proposed EU broadcasting rules

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MUMBAI: ITV, BT Group, Vodafone, Yahoo, Intel and Cisco are leading an alliance among the media and technology companies that have teamed to criticize proposed European Union broadcasting rules that they believe will restrict the growth of new media formats.

The European Commission is proposing that rules for traditional media be extended to new media, like content provided over broadband or mobile phones. Such regulations would include limits on hate speech, advertising and children-appropriate content.

The alliance takes up the issue of proposed legislation that calls for mobile content and IPTV programming to abide by the same rules as that on traditional broadcasters. The consortium maintains that these rules-including restrictions on advertising-would inhibit investment in multiplatform content.

"Citizen media such as blogs, videocasts and the like are one of the most exciting developments enabled by new technology," the companies said in a statement. "This phenomenon has the potential to create new businesses ... but this proposed regulation severely risks stunting its growth."
The EU didn't respond to the group, but has repeatedly insisted that they don't intend to regulate the internet. It would need the support of the European Parliament and 25 member governments in order to be approved.

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