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:

  1. the economic and technological backdrop
  2. the international and European regulatory framework
  3. the national implementation of these provisions
  4. self- and co-regulation
  5. case-law
  6. 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):

IRIS Plus 2012-4: Exclusive Rights and Short Reporting

Authors: Peter Matzneller, Institute for European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

Published: 01/06/2012

2012 is often called a year of sports as both the Euro 2012 football championships and the Olympic Games will be held. Of course, there will be or have been world championships in other sports, such as the biathlon, ski flying, figure skating, indoor athletics, table tennis, windsurfing, billiards, cycling, badminton, ice hockey, speedway, shooting, orienteering, rowing, baseball, canoeing, wrestling, the triathlon, jujutsu, karate, dancing and swimming. To these may be added world title fights or matches, for example in boxing or chess, numerous European championships in various sports and even more numerous national championships, ATP tournaments, Formula I racing, FIS ski racing, football Champions League matches, etc.  More

IRIS Plus 2012-3: The Future of State Aid

Authors: Francisco Javier Cabrera Blázquez, European Audiovisual Observatory

Published: 01/04/2012

As every year, May 2012 will see an edition of the Cannes Film Festival along with a new Golden Palm winner. Less in the news but more important for the industry will be the Cannes Film Market, which takes place in parallel. It will allow over 10,000 film industry professionals from over 100 countries to pick from around 4,000 films of which approximately 1,500 will be screened. And whenever films are at the center of an event, the money issue is never far away– including the question as to how states may (or may not) aid the film industry.  More

IRIS Plus 2012-2: The Lifespan for Copyright of Audiovisual Works

Authors: Christina Angelopoulos, Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

Published: 01/03/2012

Intellectual property rights are one of the tools, if not the tool for rewarding and stimulating creativity. They are attached to many assets which form part of our cultural heritage but which cannot be tagged physically as personal property, as could be, for example, paintings or sculptures. Thanks to intellectual property rights, authors and other rightsholders can cash in on their creative contributions to the making of tangible and intangible audiovisual products in the same way in which others derive money from selling the physical carrier of audiovisual works that they own.  More

IRIS Plus 2012-1: Answers to Internet Piracy

Authors: Dmitry Golovanov, Moscow Media Law and Policy Centre

Published: 01/01/2012

Internet piracy is a curse to rightsholders and anyone interested in the viability of the creative industry. The latter includes not only governments and representatives of the au- diovisual sector but also consumers who like to enjoy a rich offer of audiovisual content but who might have to cope with less diversity if generating content doesn’t pay for the efforts of content creators.  More

IRIS Plus 2011-6: Limits to the Use of Personal Data

Authors: Alexander Scheuer and Sebastian Schweda, Institute for European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

Published: 01/10/2011

At the end of September, Facebook announced a plan to extend their service in order to, as it stated, enable users to create a “Life Archive” and thus offer an unlimited number of “friends” all the details and events of their own lives at the click of a mouse. Who would have thought twenty years ago that this project would on no account be understood as a continuation of Orwell’s 1984 but as an offer of a service and business model to be taken seriously? And who would have assumed at that time that, in the light of this and similar services, we would one day be discussing whether and how it would still be possible to exercise control over electronically available personal data? The answer might be that the founding fathers of the European Convention on Human Rights at least considered questions like these to be possible, since there are subjects that lead us to face challenges that date back a long way despite being dressed up in new clothes. In the context of personal data, the answer consists in finding a meaningful balance between the rights to freedom of information and freedom of expression on the one hand and the protection of the personality and the private sphere on the other, and it is these conflicting interests that the Convention has always clearly had in mind.  More

IRIS Plus 2011-5: Why Discuss Network Neutrality?

Authors: Nico van Eijk, Institute for Information Law (IViR), Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam

Published: 01/09/2011

The freedom to receive and impart information is guaranteed by Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe. As is the case for exercising other fundamental freedoms, the mere recognition of the freedom of expression does not mean that citizens are in a position to enjoy it. For that to happen, they need to be able to communicate with each other, which in the modern world can be made possible through a wide array of communications outlets including the Internet. The European Audiovisual Observatory examines questions related to the exercise of freedom of expression regarding their importance for audiovisual media. In the context of the Internet, this means, for example, looking at the many audiovisual media services that use broadband capacity to reach the consumer or, conversely, at the content that Internet users self-generate and post on Internet platforms. Obviously, the receiving or imparting of content offered by or to audiovisual media services via the Internet presupposes access to communication networks. Whenever such access is restricted we will find somebody to diagnose an impact on the exercise of freedom of expression. Whether this diagnosis is correct and, if this were to be the case, whether the impact qualifi es as undue interference with the freedom of expression is one question discussed under the notion of “network neutrality”. It is the very issue looming in the background of this IRIS plus.  More

IRIS Plus 2011-4: Who Pays for Private Copying?

Authors: Francisco Javier Cabrera Blázquez, European Audiovisual Observatory

Published: 01/06/2011

Triangular relationships are not only a challenge in human life but also in legal settings. In the case of private copying levies, the three points of the triangle are the creators of works, legally acting copyists and copyright pirates. Their interaction is to some extent, and possibly not suffi ciently, guided by law.  More

IRIS Plus 2011-3: Media Literacy

Authors: Tarlach McGonagle, Institute for Information Law (IViR), Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam

Published: 01/05/2011

Continuous learning is a well established concept to guarantee that graduation from school or university does not mark the end of studying the subjects related to one’s profession. The more an area of knowledge is apt to change the bigger the need to stay on one’s toes. Training on the job is certainly another way to handle the challenge but depending on the sophistication of the issues it may turn out to be a dead end.  More

IRIS Plus 2011-2: An Insight into Selected Film Funding Systems

Authors: Christian M. Bron and Peter Matzneller, Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

Published: 01/04/2011

Film aid is not only designed to promote creativity, but it can also be remarkably creative itself in terms of the way it is organised. This is presumably linked to the fact that the definition of common film aid objectives, such as the protection and promotion of cultural diversity and identity or state support for the national film industry, remains rather vague. What is culture? What is diversity? What is the basis of cultural identity? What exactly should and can state subsidies achieve? These questions are wrestled with first of all when the objectives of public film aid are defined. But they must also be answered whenever a decision on the distribution of national and European funding is taken on the basis of these objectives. The real challenge therefore lies in the need to lay down conditions for the granting of aid in advance, so that the decisions taken on that basis are at least practicable and help to achieve the objectives set out.  More

IRIS Plus 2011-1: A Landmark for Mass Media in Russia

Authors: Andrei Richter, Moscow Media Law and Policy Centre

Published: 06/02/2011

When on 15 June 2010 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation adopted Resolution No. 16 “On the Judicial Practice Related to the Statute of the Russian Federation ‘On the Mass Media’”, the first international voice applauding this step was that of Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, who called it a “landmark resolution” and “a commendable effort to bring Russian court practice in line with international media freedom standards”.  More

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