The publications in the IRIS Special series tackle current issues in media law and related legal fields.
The themes covered are of direct practical relevance and are explored with academic rigour. The particular value of the IRIS Special series lies in its international approach or the comparison of different legal systems as the case may be. Recognised as a reliable source of information, the series has a track record of supplying both the audiovisual industry and also legislators and other decision makers at national and European level with highly useful data, overviews, ideas and analyses. The European Audiovisual Observatory publishes one or two IRIS Specials annually. Depending on their theme, they each contain 50-150 pages. In many cases, background material – standard-setting legal texts for example – is included.
You will find the most recent issues of IRIS Special in our SHOP.
Older issues (2001-2006) are available online for free hereunder:
Working from the premise that after a revision of the TVwF Directive the rules of the two leading European instruments on broadcasting will be once more re-aligned, this publication seeks to explore the interplay between the Directive and the Convention. It will focus on monitoring and implementation issues that already gave rise to discussions in the past. The revision of the Directive matters only insofar as it may mitigate or intensify existing problems. To be clear, this publication will not deal with the concrete points that might set the two frameworks apart (points, which in any event, only become concrete after the finalisation of the revision of the Directive) until re-alignment takes place. More
This IRIS Special describes the various ways in which the television industry supports cinematographic film – whether enshrined in law or on a voluntary basis, whether direct or indirect. It considers broadcasters' investment obligations in different European countries and investigates whether they are laid down in law, agreed in contracts or entered into voluntarily by broadcasters. It also explains the rules of procedure, discusses what broadcasters might receive in return and mentions some important economic factors. Where necessary or useful, this publication also contains information about national film funding mechanisms. More
Must-carry rules are one string in the regulators' bow regarding their efforts to ensure that all viewers may enjoy a certain basic content package. The establishment of new distribution platforms for television content (mainly cable) seemed to call this aim into question. It was feared that without legislative intervention incoming platform operators might refuse to carry certain programmes or, alternatively, might use exclusivity contracts to take certain programmes away from traditional carriers. Under either scenario, the viewers' choice of platform would have become synonymous with their choice of content and the idea of universal content would have died. More
IRIS Special 2005 - Tomorrow's Delivery of Audiovisual Services - Legal Questions Raised by Digital Broadcasting and Mobile Reception
After taking stock of developments on the television market generally, this IRIS Special begins with a description of how digital terrestrial television has developed and the different services that have become possible as a result of digitalisation. It then goes on to look at those aspects of particular importance for digital television such as "must carry" obligations, interoperability, and competition. Finally, it addresses the issues raised by "mobile" TV. This issue of IRIS Special also contains a wealth of information about the basic technical and legal considerations associated with electronic media content services. This should be of interest to anyone who comes into contact with such services, whether in the professional or private sphere. More
This IRIS Special examines the significant issue of whether the media should be doing what they are able to do when it comes to political debate. More
This Digital Television Glossary was commissioned by the Observatory from the Institute of European Media Law (EMR) with a view to creating this IRIS Special and in preparation of the workshop. Concretely, we asked for a description of the functioning of digital television and – in parallel to this – a highlighting of those structures and mechanisms that carry the potential for creating bottlenecks and allowing control over who accesses that particular market. More
IRIS Special 2004 - Regulating Access to Digital Television - Technical Bottlenecks, Vertically-integrated Markets and New Forms of Media Concentration
Every single aspect of digital television is affected by the question of access control: the compilation and preparation of content to be transported; the transmission and reception of content (encrypted or not), including the necessary technical devices; content bundling; programme selection aids; and, finally, all the technical precautions that enable the viewer to actually receive content. The more of these elements that are offered by the same service provider, or in other words, the more the market structures are vertically integrated, the more serious the problem of access control becomes. In order to get to the bottom of these issues, in September 2003 the European Audiovisual Observatory, in partnership with the Institute for Information Law (IViR) and with the support of the Institute of European Media Law (EMR), organised a workshop on the theme of Vertical Limits – New Challenges for Media Regulation? The results of this workshop, together with further information, are set out in this IRIS Special. More
This publication explains co-regulation, offers current examples of its use and discusses possible areas in which it may be applied. It describes the characteristics and legal requirements of co-regulation, as well as the chances and risks associated with it. More
IRIS Special 2002 - Jurisdiction over Broadcasters in Europe - Report on a Round-table Discussion & Selection of Background Materials
What are the remaining difficulties in determining jurisdiction? What disputes were brought before the courts and how have they been solved? What clarifications should be made to European legislation? The workshop aimed to penetrate the many facets of these questions and to fuel the discussion with background information, problem analysis and expert knowledge. The results of this enterprise are reflected in the following "Report on a Round-table Discussion" published as an IRIS Special mirroring the title of the round-table discussion: "Jurisdiction over Broadcasters in Europe". More
IRIS Special 2001 - Television and Media Concentration - Regulatory Models on the National and the European Level
This book is intended first and foremost to contribute to a better understanding of the variety of legal problems and regulations that are relevant to limiting concentrations of power in the medium of television. More