Liberty Global TV App Store Partner Guidelines

Introduction

One of the most exciting features of Liberty Global’s digital TV-platforms is the availability of interactive applications. These applications can be accessed from Liberty Global’s TV App Store and allow the customer to enhance their set-top box with different internet services and content and even communicate with others.

On the following pages, where we refer to applications (TV Apps), we always mean the TV Applications of any of Liberty Global’s digital TV- Platforms. Although the TV App Store will contain TV Apps that have been developed by Liberty Global, it is primarily an open ecosystem for TV Apps developed by third-parties. That means anyone can develop and submit a TV App.

Liberty Global will review all third-party TV Apps that are submitted based on technical, design, content and business model criteria to ensure:

This document sets out guidelines to help developers establish what and how TV Apps may be submitted to be added to the TV App Store.

All Third-party Apps submitted for inclusion in the TV App Store must comply with these guidelines. Liberty Global reserves the right to reject or remove any App that doesn’t comply with Liberty Global’s TV App philosophy – all Apps shall be reviewed, approved and monitored by Liberty Global at its sole discretion as a condition precedent to their initial/ongoing inclusion in the TV App Store. These guidelines are also subject to change at any time. Liberty Global may waive any of these guidelines at its own discretion.

The TV App Store resides on Liberty Global’s customer premises equipment and provides access to Apps for Liberty Global end-users. The TV Apps and the TV App Store run on the App server which is hosted by Metrological, Liberty Global’s chosen App technology partner. The TV App Store is managed by Metrological on Liberty Global’s behalf.

We would like to welcome all developers into the Liberty Global TV App Store and thank you for taking the time to read these guidelines. We would like to stress, that the vast majority of Apps should easily fall within these guidelines. First and foremost, Liberty Global is looking for creativity and wonderful, innovative and enchanting user experiences that will continue to delight your and our customers.

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Table of Contents

  1. Basic Principles
    1. Business Models
  2. TV App Store Guidelines
    1. General
    2. Accessing TV Apps
    3. Metadata, Text, Imagery and Icons
    4. Editorial Responsibility and Intellectual Property
    5. Privacy
    6. Customer care and billing
    7. Content
    8. Improved User Experience
    9. Streaming video content
  3. TV App Store Review Guidelines
    1. Background
    2. General
    3. User Experience
    4. Non-compliance After Launch in Liberty Global TV App Store

Basic Principles

The Liberty Global TV App Store is an open store. Anyone, whether business or individual, can sign up for a developer account and start developing a TV App.

Every developer and every TV App needs to comply with certain Basic Principles that apply to all TV Apps on the platform. The principals aim to ensure:

  1. Protect the overall quality and consistency of the customer experience
  2. Protect customers from malfunctioning, fraud or other negative experiences
  3. Protect the platform both short- and long term

These Basic Principles also serve to guide the developer through the TV App acceptance process, helping to focus their time and resources.

Business Models

Various business models can be implemented in relation to TV Apps in Liberty Global’s TV App Store.

  1. The developer can provide the TV App free to access and free to use
  2. The developer can set a price to get access and/or use the TV App
  3. The developer can provide the TV App free to access and charge for transactions from within the TV App
  4. The developer can provide the TV App free to access for customers that are charged a subscription fee to use the service within the TV App
  5. The developer can provide the TV App free to access and offer a subscription to access the TV App or to access specific content within the TV App

This page sets out guidelines to help developers establish what and how TV Apps may be submitted to be added to the TV App Store.

Where the user pays for accessing the TV App, Liberty Global will handle the transaction through the Liberty Global billing system. This transaction will end up on the customers’ bill. Support of the other business models via the Liberty Global billing system will become available at a later stage.

In cases where Liberty Global does not yet have the capacity to support the transaction model, the developer can, after approval by Liberty Global, integrate their own transaction tool and/ or handle the billing through a 3rd party billing provider.

Further commercial terms will be defined in a separate Term Sheet Agreement, which is available when signing-up to develop a TV App.

TV App Store Guidelines

General

TV Apps need to comply with local and other relevant legislation and may not include content that infringes the rights of any third-party.

It is not allowed to offer TV Apps that promote or allow illegal activities.

TV App developers will be able to make TV Apps available in the TV App Store by following the TV App lifecycle process described below:

Developers will enter into a contract directly with Metrological to facilitate/document:

  1. The addition of the developer’s TV App to:
    (i) the Metrological TV App server, and
    (ii) Liberty Global’s TV App Store, and
  2. The sale of the developer’s TV App to Liberty Global’s customers.

Accessing TV Apps

The user chooses which TV Apps he or she wishes to access. Third-party TV Apps will not be pushed to users without their explicit consent. Interactive applications or TV Apps that directly relate to a TV program may be exempted from this rule. These applications are currently referred to as “Call2Action applications”.

Metadata, Text, Imagery and Icons

Third-party TV Apps need to provide metadata about the TV App which can be used in Liberty Global’s Search & Recommendations Engine. If such metadata is not present, the TV App will not be included in the results.

Access to content in any third-party TV App will have to follow the same strict age restrictions as applicable on the Liberty Global platform itself. This means access to content must be locked based on age access rules present in the metadata.

The metadata specifications have been included in the Software Development Kit and include Category, Genre, Keywords and Age Rating. Any text and/or imagery and/or icons that are openly available to anyone must have an “AL” age rating.

Editorial Responsibility and Intellectual Property

Liberty Global respects third-party intellectual property and trademarks and relies on developers to do the same. It will be the developers’ responsibility to ensure that a TV App does not infringe any Intellectual Property rights, which means that:

  • The developer at all times is fully responsible for delivering a fully rights cleared TV App and content and warrants that all necessary rights have been obtained and paid for.
  • If any Intellectual Property rights holder files a complaint alleging infringement by a TV App, Liberty Global will ask the developer to provide documented authority to such allegedly infringed Intellectual Property.
  • Failure to comply with such a request will result in removal of the TV App from the TV App Store.
  • The developer will at all times be fully editorially responsible for all content in a TV App.

Privacy

Third-party TV Apps should at all times respect the user’s privacy. It will not be allowed to collect any user data without explicit prior user permission (opt-in). If and when the user is asked for personal data, the TV App should provide a clear privacy policy. TV Apps should always have a basic level of functionality or content that a user can enjoy without providing individual user data.

Third-party TV Apps are not allowed to interfere or take over the user interface unless the user has activated the TV App or setup within the TV App settings (e.g. notifications). This should be on a user initiated opt-in basis and not overrule general user interface notification settings.

It is prohibited to collect, retrieve, store, forward or in any other way manipulate any user or usage data that are not directly required for the proper functioning of the TV App.

User data includes, but is not limited to, user name and address or email address, transaction data, TV App usage or usage of Liberty Global’s TV platform.

Customer Care and Billing

Liberty Global and its partner Metrological will act as the TV App developers’ agents in the sale of the TV App.

The TV App developer will be the contracting partner with Liberty Global’s end-user. For paid apps, the Liberty Global billing mechanism will be used for any sums due from the end-user through the Liberty Global invoice.

Users should be able to complain and get a refund if a TV App does not meet its agreed functionality. The developer should provide a mechanism to facilitate this.

Once acquired, a TV App can be accessed an unlimited number of times. If a paid upgrade has been made available, the user will get the option to continue to access the older version, or pay the relevant upgrade fee to access the updated version.

Any direct billing relationship between the TV App developer and the end-user will be the responsibility of the TV App developer.

Any billing dispute will be directed towards the TV App developer. If it appears that the developer does not appropriately deal with user complaints, Liberty Global retains the right, at its sole discretion, to withdraw developer’s TV App from the TV App Store.

Content

A number of content types have been classified as special content types. Due to their specific nature, they require a review beyond the scope of these guidelines specified in this page. A separate agreement with Liberty Global is required before submitting any such third-party App to the TV App Store.

Gambling
Third-party TV Apps that promote or provide access to gambling activities are allowed if compliant with local legislation.

Alcohol and Tobacco
Third-party TV Apps that promote or are related to companies that produce or sell alcohol and tobacco are not allowed. “Call2Action / i-Ad” TV Apps may be an exception to this guideline.

Duplicate Content
Third-party TV Apps offering content that is already offered on the DTV platform to users in other ways will be reviewed in conjunction with the developer to agree an appropriate business model.

Adult Content
Any TV App providing adult content must be reviewed and approved by Liberty Global.

The following are expressly prohibited: child pornography, any sexually suggestive content involving children, teen pornography, content that involves models who might be underage and other non-consensual sexual material.

Liberty Global does not allow this content regardless of whether or not it complies with government regulations.

Improved User Experience

Third-party TV Apps that offer content that is more suitably offered using different delivery mechanisms, will be reviewed in conjunction with the developer, to agree the appropriate business model.

Streaming Video Content

Third-party TV Apps that offer streaming video content can be reviewed in conjunction with the developer.

TV App Store Review Guidelines

Background

Besides the basic principles that govern the overall design and development of third-party TV Apps, Liberty Global has developed a number of specific review Guidelines that serve to cover very specific situations and instances. In a number of cases, the Review Guidelines have a restrictive character, aimed at excluding certain, inappropriate TV App behaviour.

The overall aim of the Review Guidelines mirrors that of the Basic Principles, but is more specific and hence has more specific goals:

  1. To protect users from specific TV App behaviour and provide guidelines for remedy and / or user care.
  2. To protect vulnerable user groups such as minors.
  3. To protect Intellectual property of all stakeholders involved, and
  4. To protect user privacy.

Liberty Global, at its sole discretion, will reject TV Apps for release to the Liberty Global TV App Store based on the following set of rules. If non-compliance with any of the rules below only becomes apparent after a TV App has been released to users, Liberty Global retains the right to immediately remove the TV App from the TV App Store, without notice or being liable for any damage.

General

  1. TV Apps need to be built in line with the Software Development Kit. Liberty Global retains the right not to make third-party TV Apps available to users that do not fully comply with the guidelines accompanying the Software Development Kit.
  2. TV Apps that solicit, promote, or encourage illegal activities will be rejected. TV Apps which contain a political message, provoke aggression or violence, discriminate, insult, harass, threaten, that are offensive or mislead in any way are not allowed.
  3. TV Apps that enable illegal file sharing will be rejected.
  4. Third-party TV Apps that sell products, services or content that is part of Liberty Global’s standard or extended product and service offering are not allowed. “Call2Action / i-Ad” TV Apps are the exception to this guideline.
  5. Liberty Global does not allow any advertisement inside third-party TV Apps for products, services or content that is part of Liberty Global’s standard or extended product and service offering. An advertisement black-list is available upon request.
  6. Third-party TV Apps that are “beta”, “demo”, “trial”, or “test” versions will be rejected. 
  7. Third-party TV Apps may only contain Adult Content under the explicit condition that access to the content is restricted by either an age filter or a profile pin code.
  8. Third-party TV Apps that retrieve and publish data about Liberty Global’s TV platform can be rejected.

User Experience

  1. Third-party TV Apps that open other TV Apps, or take customers outside the TV App itself onto the internet, will be reviewed in conjunction with the developer.
  2. Third-party TV Apps that are primarily marketing materials or advertisements can be rejected.
  3. Third-party TV Apps that are intended to provide trick or fake functionality and that are not clearly marked as such will be rejected.
  4. Third-party TV Apps that do not perform the advertised task will be rejected.
  5. Third-party TV Apps that use any of Liberty Global’s trademarks without prior written approval or TV Apps that suggest endorsement by Liberty Global without prior written approval will be rejected.
  6. Third-party TV Apps that continue to run without explicit user consent after the user has exited the TV App will be rejected.
  7. Third-party TV Apps that attempt to discover user passwords or other private user data will be rejected.

Non-Compliance After Launch in Liberty Global TV App Store

It is possible that despite a diligent review process, a third-party TV App is made available to users that violates these guidelines or another law, regulation, policy or legal agreement. It may also happen that laws or regulations change after TV Apps have been made available. Finally, a situation may arise where content is made available to users for which the relevant rights clearances have not been arranged or have elapsed. In these and other instances, Liberty Global retains the right to remove the TV Apps from both the TV App Store and Liberty Global’s TV Platform at Liberty Global’s sole discretion. In these situations, Liberty Global will hold the developer liable for any loss suffered by Liberty Global and reimburse the user on behalf of the developer but reclaim from the developer all costs incurred in making such reimbursement.

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