ERGA adopted its Report on the Protection of Minors that provides an overview of protection measures currently used by a wide range of players in the so-called ‘converged audiovisual media landscape’.
European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) published a report that focuses on the tools currently being used by the audiovisual media service providers to help parents to protect children from content that may be unsuitable or potentially harmful to their development or overall well-being.
By outlining the types of measures with concrete examples from the representative sample of the audiovisual media providers active in various EU member states, it is laying the foundations for further ERGA activities with the aim of fostering cooperation among stakeholders to protect children in the audiovisual media environment.
It is important to note that the issue of protective measures within the audiovisual media services is just a part of the bigger question of protecting children in the digital environment and it should be viewed in this context. The sphere of audiovisual media, however, has the longest history of regulation and its wide use by children certainly justifies close examination of the measures currently used by the media providers. And it is only fitting that ERGA, functioning as an advisory body to the EU Commission on these matters within the scope of the AVMS Directive, is contributing to the debate within the field of its competence.
The media providers focused on in this report were chosen as representative examples of all known protection of minors practices across a range of media services, i.e. broadcasting and video-on-demand, video-sharing platforms and audiovisual distributors.
The primary focus is on the actual measures that are employed by media providers but, as these are often influenced by some form of mandatory regulation in the particular jurisdiction, the interplay between regulation and the media practices is also captured in the text of the report - most notably in the section on broadcasting, where this influence is especially strong.
This report does not purport to be an overview of all practices aimed at protection of minors by all media providers in all EU member states. It does however provide the reader with a substantial view on the current state of protection of minors in audiovisual media services in Europe, namely:
• what are the most widely used measures media companies use in this field
• what is the approach of the biggest market players and
• what appear to be the trends for the near future
ERGA brings together the high level representatives of national independent regulatory authorities in the field of audiovisual services. Its primary purpose is to advise the EU Commission on the implementation of the EU‘s Audiovisual Media Services Directive1 (“AVMS Directive”) and facilitate cooperation between the regulatory bodies in the EU. In order to fulfil these roles efficiently, ERGA creates expert groups that examine various areas of the media environment and related regulatory implications.