IRIS newsletter 2023-6
European Audiovisual Observatory
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Executive Director: Susanne Nikoltchev
Maja Cappello, Editor • Francisco Javier Cabrera Blázquez, Sophie Valais, Amélie Lacourt, Justine Radel, Deputy Editors (European Audiovisual Observatory)
Documentation/Press Contact: Alison Hindhaugh
Tel.: +33 (0)3 90 21 60 10
Sabine Bouajaja, European Audiovisual Observatory (co-ordination) • Paul Green • Marco Polo Sarl • Nathalie Sturlèse • Brigitte Auel • Erwin Rohwer • Ulrike Welsch
Sabine Bouajaja, European Audiovisual Observatory (co-ordination) • Sophie Valais, Francisco Javier Cabrera Blázquez and Amélie Lacourt • Linda Byrne • Glenn Ford • Aurélie Courtinat • Barbara Grokenberger
Coordination: Cyril Chaboisseau, European Audiovisual Observatory
© 2023 European Audiovisual Observatory, Strasbourg (France)
In the last decade, the European media landscape has undergone a deep transformation due to technological innovations and the entry of new global players. The COVID-19 pandemic has further affected the sector, accelerating certain trends while underlining media’s relevance in keeping people informed and entertained.
No one is likely to dispute these statements. It is clear that the audiovisual sector has undergone a revolution in the last decade and there is much more to come, especially with the disruptive arrival of artificial intelligence (AI – see, for example, the scriptwriters' strike in the US).
The above quote comes from the recently published European Media Industry Outlook, a European Commission report that explores media trends and analyses their potential impact on EU media markets. In addition to this forward-looking document, in this newsletter we report on the state of play of the EU AI act, the UK government's white paper on the future regulation of AI, Ofcom's guidance to broadcasters on synthetic media (that is, AI-produced content), the Italian data protection authority's decision on "dark patterns" (that is, interfaces and user experiences implemented on social media platforms that lead users into making unintended, unwilling and potentially harmful decisions regarding the processing of their personal data) and the French bill on digital security and regulation.
And much more.
Enjoy the read!
Maja Cappello, Editor
European Audiovisual Observatory
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
European Court of Human Rights (Grand Chamber) : Sanchez v. France
On 15 May 2023 the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has confirmed its earlier Chamber finding of 2 September 2021 in the case of Sanchez v. France. The ECtHR found that the criminal conviction of a politician for failing to promptly delete hate speech, that was posted by others, from his public Facebook account, did not violate the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Grand Chamber of the ECtHR confirms that imposing criminal liability on internet intermediaries is capable of having chilling...
EU: Council of the EU
Update on EU sanctions against Russian broadcasters
The sanctions imposed against Russian state broadcasters shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which were designed to prevent them broadcasting in the European Union (EU) and have been renewed or extended multiple times, were broadened to include additional broadcasters in decisions adopted on 31 March 2023. Acting within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the Council of the European Union adopted Decision (CFSP) 2023/728, in which it ruled that the so-called restrictive measures introduced in a decision of 25 February 2023 could be applied to two...
EU: European Commission
Publication by the European Commission of the first European Media Industry Outlook
On 18 May, the European Commission published a new report, the European Media Industry Outlook, as part of its Media and Audiovisual Action Plan, launched in December 2020. It was presented by Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market during the European Film Forum at the Festival de Cannes. The report – the first of its kind – analyses trends in the audiovisual, video game and news media industries, provides market data and identifies challenges and underlying technological trends common to the media industries, with the aim of analysing their potential impact on the EU media...
EU: European Commission
Recommendation on combating online piracy of sports and other live event
On 4 May 2023, the European Commission published a notable Recommendation on combating online piracy of sports and other live events. The Recommendation encourages member states, national authorities, rightsholders and providers of intermediary services to take effective, balanced and appropriate measures to combat unauthorised retransmissions of live events. The Commission emphasises that sports and live events contribute to “fostering a diverse European cultural scene”, bringing citizens together and providing a sense of community; and unauthorised streaming can cause “significant...
EU: European Commission
European Commission report on the promotion of European works by audiovisual media services
On 17th May 2023, the European Commission published its report on the application of Articles 13 (non-linear services), 16 and 17 (linear services) of the AVMS Directive for the period 2015-2019. Since the new rules introduced in 2018 had not yet entered into force at national level in 2019, the report only refers to the obligations under Directive 2010/13/EU. It is accompanied by a Study which addresses the legislative changes affecting linear and non-linear services, the developments in the audiovisual market as well as a content analysis of offers by broadcasting and on-demand services. Application...
EU: European Parliament
AI Act: where do we stand?
On 21 April 2021, the European Commission (EC) presented a proposal for a Regulation laying down harmonised rules on artificial intelligence and amending certain Union legislative acts (Artificial Intelligence Act - ‘AI Act’) (see IRIS 2021-6:1/25 presenting the Commission’s proposal). Since then, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) have started their work. Although the European Commission published its proposal about two years ago, substantial...
EU: European Parliament
European Parliament report on the 2022 European Commission Report on Serbia
On 2 May 2023, the European Parliament adopted a motion for a resolution on the 2022 Commission Report on Serbia. The Report is one of seven reports by the European Commission on six Balkan countries and Turkey in relation to their status as candidates for membership of the European Union (EU). Published on 12 October 2022, the report aims to describe the state of play in Serbia to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions with an analysis of the progress of the reforms launched in Serbia since the opening...
Belgian, German, French, British and Cypriot media regulators form international working group on age verification
On 24 March 2023, in order to meet the challenges of protecting young people in the media in the 21st century, media regulators from Belgium, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Cyprus set up an international working group on age verification, which will meet regularly to exchange information about topical issues related to youth protection in the media. They published a joint statement that sets out the main elements of their future cooperation. The working group’s current members are the French Autorité de régulation de la communication audiovisuelle et numérique...
[BE] Flemish Minister of Media launches online platform with information for influencers: the InfluencerFAQ
On 27 March 2022, Benjamin Dalle, Flemish Minister for Brussels Affairs, Youth and Media, introduced the online platform "InfluencerFAQ". The influencerFAQ platform offers all kinds of tips and tricks about being an influencer and was developed in consultation with influencers and media experts and together with various organisations (including non-profit organisations and government agencies) specialising in a number of topics relevant to influencers. These topics range from information on discussing sensitive topics such as suicide, posting about gambling and dealing with hate messages...
[BG] CEM report on the monitoring of the election campaign for the 49th Parliament
On 27 April 2023, Съвета за електронни медии (the Council for Electronic Media – CEM) published its Доклад за специализираното наблюдение на предизборната кампания за 49-то Народно събрание (Report on the specialised monitoring of the election campaign for the 49th Parliament – the Report). In the Report, the CEM presents its findings following the process of specialised monitoring of the activity of 14 channels of public media service providers and 13 channels of commercial media service providers related to yet another parliamentary election in Bulgaria. The Report also includes...
[DE] German Film Board publishes 2022 home video market report
According to a report on the financial results of the home video market, published by the German Filmförderungsanstalt (Federal Film Board – FFA), over EUR 3.8 billion was spent on cinema tickets and the purchase, rental or streaming of films in Germany in 2022. Combined spending on home video and cinema tickets was the highest since market data collection began. At just over EUR 3.1 billion, consumer spending on the different home video products alone also set a new record high and exceeded EUR 3 billion for the first time. Based on market research and statistics gathered by the FFA,...
[DE] KEK amends rules on reporting minor changes to ownership structures
At its meeting on 11 April 2023, the Kommission zur Ermittlung der Konzentration im Medienbereich (Commission on Concentration in the Media - KEK) decided to amend the Meldepflicht-Richtlinie (directive on notification of ownership structures) adopted on 11 May 2021. Previously, only minor changes to participating interests or other types of influence were exempt from the obligation to report changes, laid down in Article 63 sentence 1 of the Medienstaatsvertrag (state media treaty – MStV). Now, a further exemption applies to changes that are not minor per se, but that relate to companies...
[DK] Developments in the Danish media business 2020-23
Every year the Danish Producers’ Association draws up a report on turnover, employment and export for various parts of the media business, based on figures from Statistics Denmark. A new report from 22 May 2023 “Dansks Indholdsproducenter 2023” [Danish content producers 2023] analyses the state of things in 2021: - For the second consecutive year, sales by the media business reached almost DKK 8.5 billion (EUR 1.1 billion). It is largely the gaming industry that drives this economic development with a turnover of more than DKK 3 billion (EUR 0.4 billion) in 2021. - Danish...
[DK] Transposition of the DSM Directive soon to be completed and with emphasis on extended collective licensing
In February 2023 the European Commission referred Denmark, together with a handful of other member states, to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to transpose the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (the DSM Directive) – Denmark had only implemented part of the Directive in time, namely Articles 15 and 17. Denmark was therefore under pressure to act quickly and, on 10 March 2023, a proposal for a draft bill was issued for consultation, with a deadline of 11 April 2023 for comments on the proposal. On 3 May 2023, a revised proposal for a draft bill...
[FR] Government publishes extensive Digital Safety and Regulation Bill
On 10 May, the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty and the Minister Delegate for the Digital Transition and Telecommunications presented the Digital Safety and Regulation Bill to the Council of Ministers. Containing 36 articles split into eight sections, this extensive piece of legislation aims to strengthen the “protection of minors online” and of “citizens in the digital world”, “confidence and competition in the data economy”, “the governance of digital regulation” and “monitoring of personal data processing...
[FR] Senate adopts bill to regulate influencer marketing and combat abuses by influencers on social networks
Following its adoption by the National Assembly on 30 March, the Senate has adopted, with amendments, the bill to regulate influencer marketing and combat abuses by influencers on social networks. The bill aims to regulate influencer marketing on social networks and the status of influencers and influencer agents in order to combat the spread of misleading or fraudulent commercial practices on the Internet. In an open session, the senators clarified the relevant legal framework in particular, pointing out that the existing rules governing advertising and promotion already apply to influencer...
[GB] Ofcom guidance to broadcasters on synthetic media
On 3 April 2023, Ofcom (the UK’s independent communications regulator) issued guidance to broadcasters on the use of “synthetic media”, including “DeepFakes”. The regulator stated that its Broadcasting Code is adequately equipped to help maintain trust and fairness in programming and reminded licence holders to give thoughtful consideration to their compliance processes. Ofcom understands the term “synthetic media” to mean video, image, text, or voice that has been produced (either fully or partly) with the help of artificial intelligence algorithms....
[GB] Repeal of the video-sharing platforms regime
On 3 May 2023, Ofcom (the UK’s independent communications regulator) gave an update on the repeal of the video-sharing platform (VSP) regulatory framework and what this means for providers in moving to the new online safety regime. Background On 5 December 2022, the UK Government set out the process for repealing the VSP regime in an amendment to the forthcoming Online Safety Bill (OSB). The OSB establishes a new regulatory framework to achieve “the adequate protection of citizens from harm presented by content on regulated services, through the appropriate use by providers of...
[GB] The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill iintroduced into the House of Commons
The UK Government introduced the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill into the House of Commons on 25 April 2023 with the aim of “driv[ing] growth, innovation and productivity”. It is a substantial bill comprising six parts and 26 schedules and reflects proposals found in two consultation papers from 2021: A new pro-competition regime for digital markets and Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy. The Bill covers two main areas: proposed competition reforms including a specific emphasis on digital markets; and reforms of consumer law enforcement and the introduction of...
[GB] The UK Government publishes a White Paper about the future regulation of Artificial Intelligence
The UK Government’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology published a white paper on 29 March 2023 entitled "AI Regulation: A Pro-Innovation Approach" (the White Paper). The White Paper sets out the UK Government’s proposals to regulate artificial intelligence (AI). The proposed regulatory framework adopts a proportionate, trustworthy, adaptable and clear approach. The White Paper outlines five clear principles that regulators, like Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority, should consider to best facilitate the safe and innovative use of AI in the sectors...
[GE] Sweeping Amendments to Broadcasting Law Adopted
On 22 December 2022, the national Parliament of Georgia adopted a draft law “On amendments to the law on broadcasting”. The 2004 law has been amended several times (see IRIS 2005-7/24, IRIS 2011-10:1/22, IRIS 2013-8:1/23); this time the amendments were aimed at achieving compliance of the Georgian legislation with the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). Most of the amendments relate to the definitions of the key notions of the law, including the activity of the audiovisual (AV) media regulatory authority, the “authorisation” procedures for activities in the...
[IT] The Italian Data Protection Authority adopts first decision on deceptive design patterns (s.c. “dark patterns”)
Through Resolution No. 51 of 23 February 2023, the Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali – the Garante) adopted its first ever decision on deceptive design patterns, also known as “dark patterns” (the Decision). Deceptive design patterns are defined by the European Data Protection Board in its Guidelines 03/2022 (the Guidelines), adopted on 14 February 2023, as “interfaces and user journeys implemented on social media platforms that attempt to influence users into making unintended, unwilling and potentially harmful decisions,...
[NL] Dutch Media Authority rejects request to take enforcement action against broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland
On 17 April 2023, the Dutch Media Authority (Commissariaat voor de Media) rejected a high-profile request from the Board of Directors of the Dutch Public Broadcasting Foundation (Stichting Nederlandse Publieke Omroep – NPO) to take enforcement action against the broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland. This came after the NPO had imposed three separate fines on the broadcaster, including a EUR 131 000 fine in April 2023 for “systemic violation” of the NPO Journalistic Code in relation to the broadcaster’s news programme; a EUR 84 000 fine in July 2022 for an earlier systematic violation...
[NL] Dutch government moves to ban apps "from countries with an offensive cyber programme against the Netherlands" on government mobile devices
On 21 March 2023, the Dutch Minister for Digitalisation (Staatssecretaris Koninkrijksrelaties en Digitalisering) announced two important policy measures regarding the use of apps carrying a heightened risk of espionage on government mobile devices. The new policy is based on the results of an investigation performed by the General Intelligence and Security Service (Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst, AIVD) in response to international developments and parliamentary questions submitted in February 2023 (IRIS 2023-4). In particular, on 20 February 2023, the European Commission and the EU...
[UA] Amendments to the advertising statute tabled
When, on 13 December 2022, the Ukrainian Parliament, the Supreme Rada, adopted the statute “On the Media” (see IRIS 2023-1:1/6), it was decided that the provisions related to advertising would be discussed further. These provisions would be later adopted as straightforward amendments to the statute “On Advertising” (see IRIS 1997-1:1/20). On 13 April 2023, the bill was submitted by more or less the same members of parliament and, on 20 April, the leading committee of the Supreme Rada recommended its adoption at first reading by the full house of parliament in the current...
United States of America
[US] Ed Sheeran in copyright dispute for “Thinking Out Loud”
On 4 May 2023, Ed Sheeran was exonerated of copyright infringement by jurors in Manhattan federal court presided by U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton, after they denied liability regarding his 2014 Grammy award-winning song “Thinking Out Loud”. The case opposed the singer-songwriter to the heirs of Marvin Gaye’s co-writer, Ed Townsend, who claimed infringement of their copyright interests. In 2017, Towsend’s heirs sued Ed Sheeran, his label Warner Music Group and his music publisher Sony Music Publishing, alleging striking similarities with Marvin Gaye’s song “Let’s...