Channel 4 in dispute over internet ad rights

Channel 4 has come under fire from the IPA over fears actors and musicians could sue agencies for rights infringement as a result of its recently launched online broadcasting service.

Some of the channel's top shows, including Desperate Housewives and Lost, are being simulcast on its website, along with the TV ads booked to run in the programmes.

The IPA asked the broadcaster to indemnify clients and agencies against potential legal action from third-party rights holders.

"If Channel 4 is going to broadcast TV ads online, it needs to ensure all rights are cleared or provide indemnity," Marina Palomba, the IPA's legal director, said.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "It is our view that simulcast represents an extension of our TV service."