Communication

 

IRIS Plus 2013-5: Audiovisual Heritage 2.0

Authors: Catherine Jasserand, Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

Published: 12/12/2013

The destruction of the Library of Alexandria is a symbol of knowledge lost forever. Although the facts about this historical event are not entirely clear, the myth of a centralised source of knowledge ravaged by the flames remains in the collective conscience as a reminder of the fragility of cultural heritage.  More


IRIS Plus 2013-3: Converged Media: Same Content, Different Laws?

Authors: Alexander Scheuer, Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

Published: 01/06/2013

Convergence is no longer a future vision but can be experienced in the here and now. At least, this is true for those among us who possess a smart TV and manage to use its full technical potential. At the same time, media professionals never tire of pointing to the fact (and to supporting surveys) that for users traditional television still ranks high or even highest among the different media. Television screens are therefore one likely place for linear and non-linear audiovisual media services to meet. Thanks to the advanced technology employed they can in parallel function as an interface for other communication and information services. This turns television screens into a prime testing ground for consumers who wish to explore combined offers of formerly clearly distinct media and information services. Television screens are therefore also the place where consumers will learn whether or not the current legal framework takes care of their expectations regarding the protection of their interests.  More


IRIS Plus 2013-1: The Digital Switchover

Authors: Andrei Richter, Faculty of Journalism, Moscow State University

Published: 01/02/2013

The European Commission's report on the telecommunications market and regulatory development (see also IRIS 2012-9/8) describes, among other things, the current status of the introduction of digital television in the EU member states. According to section 5.3.2 of the report, at the time of publication (18 June 2012) it was already clear that Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Greece were the only EU member states that would not have completed the digitisation process before the deadline of 31 December 2012.  More


IRIS Plus 2012-5: Must-carry: Renaissance or Reformation?

Authors: Nico van Eijk and Bart van der Sloot, Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

Published: 01/09/2012

On 11 July 2012, the Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale per il Lazio, an Italian administrative court in Rome decided on a case involving the Italian public service broadcaster RAI (TAR Lazio Decision n. 6320). It found RAI guilty of having violated its charter by encrypting its free-to-air TV channels, which made it impossible for Sky Italia to carry RAI channels on its platform.  More


IRIS Themes - Vol. II - Freedom of Expression and the Media: Standard-setting by the Council of Europe (II) Parliamentary Assembly

Authors: European Audiovisual Observatory

Published: 01/12/2011

This e-book provides valuable insights into the work of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on freedom of expression and the media. It summarises the many positions adopted by the PACE since June 1995 in no less than 49 official documents designed to guide the member states of the Council of Europe. It also provides direct access to each of those official documents.  More


IRIS Themes - Vol. I - Freedom of Expression and the Media: Standard-setting by the Council of Europe (I) Committee of Ministers

Authors: European Audiovisual Observatory

Published: 01/12/2011

This e-book provides valuable insights into the work of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on freedom of expression and the media. It summarises the many principles and normative requirements adopted by the Council since November 1994 in no less than 57 official documents designed to guide the member states of the Council of Europe. It also provides direct access to each of those official documents.  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 2010-6: Switchover to the Digital Dividend

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

Published: 01/12/2010

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


IRIS Plus 2010-1: Digital Television

Authors: Andrei Richter, Moscow Media Law and Policy Center, and Taras Shevchenko, Media Law Institute, Kiev

Published: 01/02/2010

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


IRIS Plus 2009-6: The "Telecoms Review": New Impetus for Audiovisual Media?

Authors: Sebastian Schweda, Institute of European Media Law (EMR) Saarbrücken/Brussels

Published: 01/11/2009

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


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