This new publication series from 2015 covers a selection of topics that are high on the European regulatory agenda, offering comparative and reliable information on a chosen topical issue in the perspective of the ongoing reforms of the legal framework on European and national level.
For each chosen topic, this new publication looks into:
- the economic and technological backdrop
- the international and European regulatory framework
- the national implementation of these provisions
- self- and co-regulation
- recent trends.
The former version of the IRIS Plus series (until 2014) was a paid-for publication that featured a combination of a lead article, related reporting and a Zoom section, comprising overview tables, market data or practical information.
All published issues are now available online for free (see below):
Like Siamese twins, the switchover to digital television is inseparable from the spectrum liberated as a result of the process. The twin of the switchover is called digital dividend. If we look closer at these twins, we realize that they are non-identical, as far as at least one important point is concerned. Whereas lots of facts and figures are being collected to document how countries are moving from analogue to digital television, much less information seems available on how they might wish to, or are obliged to, use the resulting digital dividend. Admittedly, when it comes to describing developments concerning the digitization of television the usable data are significantly more concrete than they are regarding policies for the digital dividend. And it is these policies that are decisive for determining the use of the freed up spectrum. Tracking policies becomes easier, however, if we take stock of existing legal frameworks within which these policies are being developed. This IRIS plus deals, in its Lead Article, with the rules and regulations currently determining the possible uses of the digital dividend, while its Related Reporting and its Zoom section provide legal and market information relevant to the implementation of digital television. More
A European Audiovisual Observatory publication had already investigated one aspect of the debate in autumn 2004. In IRIS plus “The Legal Protection of Broadcast Signals”, Lucie Guibault and Roy Melzer described in detail current provisions for the international protection of broadcast signals. Due to the lack of a successful conclusion to the WIPO negotiations, this snapshot from 2004 has remained largely unchanged. Therefore, a description of the legal protection of broadcast signals can, as before, be found in this IRIS plus, which can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.obs.coe.int/oea_publ/iris/iris_plus/ iplus10_2004.pdf . More
There have been many public statements on the funding of public service broadcasting and the expectations associated with it. As far as the European Union is concerned, mention might be made of the Communication from the Commission of 27 October 2009 on the application of state aid rules to public service broadcasting (OJ C 257, pp. 1–14) or in the case of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers’ reply of 21 April 2010 welcoming the Parliamentary Assembly’s Recommendation 1878 (2009) on the funding of public service broadcasting. More
There are areas of law that are so complex that legislators evidently find it hard to get to grips with them, and one of these areas is presumably product placement. The starting-point for the harmonisation of national solutions, which was the aim of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), was itself a complicated matter. Despite the legal framework laid down by the “Television without Frontiers” Directive, there was a (presumably correct) impression that product placement was neither really prohibited nor really permitted under EU law. The result was that it was allowed in Austria but banned in Germany but could at any rate be seen on EU TV screens in some American films. More
The European cinema of the near future will be digital. This much seems to be agreed upon by anyone who has a say in the matter. But the road there requires special efforts and may indeed be long and winding. This IRIS plus asks where we stand in the roll-out of digital cinema and it does so with regard to the legal framework as well as the digital cinema market. Do European countries invest enough in the digitisation of their cinemas to make the digital revolution happen? Do their support schemes comply with legal re quirements? Are all risks for the cinema market identified and correctly assessed? What will the digital revolution me an for the various players? For example, is there a danger that small cinemas might disappear? What other legal issues need to be considered in order to make digital cinema an economic and legal reality. More
Imagine turning on your television and not receiving any signal. For an increasing number of television viewers this could have been the case had they not re-equipped themselves for digital television. To mention only the early birds: Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden completed the transition to digital terrestrial television between 2006 and 2007. Consumers living in these countries had no choice but to follow suit lest they feared to lose what is still one of – if not– the most used audiovisual media service. If everything goes according to the expectation of the EU Commission, almost all EU member states will meet the 2012 EU target for switch-off and, hence, more digital television equipment will find its homes. More
This IRIS plus examines the review of the European telecommunications regulatory framework. The lead article is as multilayered as the theme itself. Market regulation, spectrum policy, new distribution methods, interoperability, network neutrality, investment protection, "must-carry" obligations, access to information, fundamental rights, universal services and data protection are just a few key phrases linked to the various aspects of communications regulation. More
IRIS Plus 2009-5: SatCab Revisited: The Past, Present and Future of the Satellite and Cable Directive
In this article, Bernt Hugenholtz explores not only the history, goals and application of the Satellite and Cable Directive but also the question of how its future might look like. More
This IRIS plus discusses the involvement of public service broadcasting in the new media. The author examines to what extent and under what conditions the public service remit covers such an involvement and where the limits to legitimate state funding currently lie. She therefore goes in some detail into EC law and mentions numerous examples of national provisions in various countries. More
More often than one might expect, basic issues concerning music rights are unknown territory for producers of music works, film composers and musicians. Reading this IRIS plus is a first step towards understanding the complex legal matter. More