Last night, as I left 18 Doughty Street, there was a general conversation going on about how the Internet station was exempt from regulation. I'm not sure who said it (it may have been RecessMonkey), but I recall hearing the words "give it time".
Lo and behold in this monring's Times is an article about precisely such a topic. It seems there's draft EU directive called Television Without Frontiers which intends to regulate and require licensing for what the EU Media Commissionar calls “television-like service”. Apparently this include YouTube and personal websites.
Now I'm not exactly sure how that will work for YouTube sites given their hosting arrangements are not, as I understand it, based in the EU. As such just because a poster may be based in the EU it does not, by necessity, mean that the video was posted from that location. All seems rather unenforceable to me. The good news for YouTube users - maybe - is that the British government is against that aspect of the directive and is supposedly lobbying to get others to agree with it on a compromise.
Unfortunately, the compromise does not bode well for 18 Doughty Street though. Basically, the Government is proposing to redefine what constitutes "television". The approach, is going to be that if it looks like television and sounds like television then it is television. YouTube would not fall within this wide definition it seems because of it's "clip" nature.
Personally, I instantly repulse at any form of Internet regulation period. There's nothing more annoying than non-technologists trying to control what is, by it's very nature, a largely uncontrollable beast. The Net has established a virtualised world that is unique of national sovereignty and boundaries. Interference in that should be opposed at all cost.