Age ratings system for web downloads

The film-style age ratings system that is going to be introduced for video games is also be used for downloads from the Internet.

This move follows on from recommendations made in the Byron Report, which suggested that a simple age-related classication system be used to make it easier for parents to see what games are suitable for their children.

Now the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is going to oversee the introduction of the same age ratings system on downloaded video content and video games.

The Beeb reports that Disney, Warners and Fox have signed up to the scheme with other "key industry figures ... poised to join".

It follows research by the censor that revealed that 74% of parents were concerned about the lack of ratings on downloads.

More than 1000 videos will have online certificates by the end of May, and a companies that sign up to be involved will also have to put into place age verification systems, which will be policed by the BBFC.

This is not, however, to be a rival to the games industry's self-regulatory body, Pegi, which the BBFC will work with.