[co-author: Oliver Kichenside]
The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has published regulations (“Regulations”) that amend the Video Recordings Act 1984 (“Act”).
The Act requires video works to be classified by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) before they can be sold in the UK. Previously, videos (other than video games) in physical formats (for example, DVDs) were exempt from such requirements if, taken as a whole, they were designed to inform, educate or instruct, or were concerned with sport, religion or music.
However, under the Regulations, which come in to force on 1 October 2014, this exemption will be removed so that music, sports, religious and educational videos will have to be classified if they contain material unsuitable for children.
The Regulations will not apply to the supply of a video work which was first placed on the market prior to 1 October 2014.
Online videos are also outside the scope of the Regulations. However, the UK music industry and the BBFC have announced a separate pilot scheme, also launched on 1 October 2014, for the age rating of online music videos. Consequently, music videos from the UK collection of each of Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music which contain “material unsuitable for younger children” will in future display content information and a BBFC age rating in “search results and alongside the video player” on websites including YouTube and Vevo.
A copy of the Regulations can be found here.