Broadcast Regulations and Connected TV
It's going to be impossible for the new living room ecosystem to be regulated by current broadcast regulatory bodies at National and EU level for a number of reasons.
1. All new connected TV's are built with web browsers as of 2012 and Opera is expected to sell over 30 million licenses for their browser rendering engine for TV to most TV manufacturers. How will regulatory officials tell us what we can browse for on our TVs?
2. The entire TV App ecosystem on the big screen being pushed by Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Sharp, LG et al. is hardly controllable.
3. Second screen engagement (1st screen for Bill and Mark) via smart phones and tablets is growing leaps and bounds and there's more and more happening in terms of multiplatform engagement with shows, discovery, sharing, commerce and community moving to the smaller screen. Can government regulate that screen without restricting our Internet rights? No.
All in all, in my opinion, regulators are going to have to facilitate self regulation in the various industries concerned (CE manufacturers, app developers, Opera, second screen entrepreneurs, etc.) rather than try and write top-down laws and allow for the communities to clamp down on those that seek to take advantage of the 'Wild West' of a industry that is now unfurling.
Trying to port over broadcast regulations into the new living room will only result in consumer backlash by having to take away freedoms associated with the Internet in order to implement legacy legislation into the mix.
It's time for a private pan-European body that involves all current and future commercial stakeholders to be formed in order to set an agenda for self regulation and work with broadcast regulatory bodies and other government entities.
We live in a new world where brand values are largely validated by the consumer and it's imperative that commercial entities keep their status clean by 'doing no evil' as Google would say. Self regulation will allow for more, 'Agile' governing of the industry and keep up quicker with changes in the market, rather than the 2-3 year process it currently takes in traditional regulatory environments to facilitate changes in law.