The truth behind regulating the iPlayer

Another person speaking at the eForum was Pete Johnson from the BBFC, who also believes that some sort of regulation is needed for online video but this needs to begin in the home.

"Since the VCR, regulation in terms of protecting children in the home has really been a partnership between parent and child.

"VOD is a different challenge – all a regulator can do is show which bits [of web video] have 'dragons' and which don't.

"The broadcasters can make this clear by being open about what content you do show. At the BBFC we have been working with online players to get classification on to internet content, so we are already trying to classify this content."

Sky player

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To point out the seriousness of unregulated content on the web, Johnson refers to a startling statistic: "We need to acknowledge that VOD isn't just about [Project] Canvas but YouTube-style hardcore pornography services.

"To show how big this is, [a site called] Pornhub is the 25th most visited site in the UK – more people go to that than the Daily Mail website."

The idea of regulating all video content on the web is an interesting and almost impossible one, but Johnson believes that regulating the whole of the web isn't needed: "It's very important that we move away from the idea that unless regulation catches everything it is then pointless – I don't believe in that," he notes.

"Protecting a lot of children from a lot of harmful content is a legitimate goal in itself."

To read more about Ofcom's VOD regulation plans, click here.