Ireland

[IE] Reddit challenges designation as video-sharing platform by Irish media regulator

IRIS 2024-2:1/15

Eric Munch

European Audiovisual Observatory

Following the publication on 10 November of its Designation Decision Framework for video-sharing platform (VSP) services, the Irish media regulator Coimisiún na Meán (the Media Commission) issued a series of notices of designation to services established in Ireland that it estimates fall under the designation of VSP.

Pursuant to section 139H(3)(a) of the Broadcasting Act, 10 such services (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Udemy, TikTok, LinkedIn, X, Pinterest, Tumblr and Reddit) were notified of their designation as VSPs between 22 December and 29 December 2023. As foreseen by the Designation Decision Framework, a service has the possibility of providing the Media Commission with additional elements if they consider that their designation as a VSP service should be overturned.

On 15 January, Reddit, one such service launched High Court proceedings to challenge its designation as a VSP. The self-described “network of communities where people can dive into their interests, hobbies and passions” is an aggregation of discussion forums offering many features to its users, among which is the possibility for users to share content such as external links, images and videos.

A spokesperson for Reddit is quoted by the daily news service Irish Legal News as saying, “Reddit is a predominantly text-based discussion platform, and we believe that links to videos uploaded to other platforms should not be within scope of the EU legislation at issue, which is targeted at video hosting platforms like YouTube and TikTok.” He also observed that Reddit was hoping to obtain clarification from the court on questions of interpretation, as the designation of Reddit as a VSP could have “broadly sweeping implications for the internet”.

The designation as a VSP of a platform which allows for the sharing of audiovisual content which is not hosted on the platform itself could indeed open the way to the designation as VSPs of a multitude of other platforms.


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This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.