Companies Fight EU Move to Regulate Web

Organizations from seven countries are objecting to the "TV Without Frontiers" directive, saying it would take money and jobs out of Europe

Businesses are opposing EU proposals to regulate the use of audio-visual content on the internet because they say it will drive money and jobs out of Europe.

Seven organisations that represent 500,000 businesses in Denmark, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the UK have launched a campaign objecting to proposals contained in the EU 'TV Without Frontiers' (TVWF) directive, ahead of a European parliamentary meeting tomorrow.

The meeting will look at how the EU can regulate audio-visual internet content, such as sound and on-demand video, by extending traditional broadcast regulations to the internet.

But businesses have objected to the plans because they say such rules could prevent development, stifle creativity and force internet broadcasters out of the EU.

The UK's Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is representing a number of UK businesses that are opposing the plans.

John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said in a statement: "Business is finding innovative ways of communicating and engaging with customers. We should not stifle the creativity that helps keep Europe's business one step ahead of the competition.

He added: "As drafted, this onerous directive will stifle economic growth, inhibit job creation and hamper the development of digital content and services across the EU. These new rules create unnecessary and unwanted red tape and duplicate well-regarded existing laws that already cover online service providers."

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