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Global Media and Communications Watch

The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Alastair ShawDiana Ettig

DSM Watch: EU Commission announces first concrete legislative proposals – but when are they coming?

In this post we preview the EU Commission’s first concrete legislative proposals on reform of EU copyright under the DSM banner, and look further ahead to what the Commission has planned in this area for 2016.


In May the announcement of the EU Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy received much attention.  Our DSM Watch team is a multi-jurisdiction, cross-practice group working together to keep you informed as the initiatives under the DSM strategy roll out.

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Posted in Internet Mark BrennanTom Peters

FCC Fines More Companies for Wi-Fi Blocking

fcc-logo_light-blue-gradient-on-grayOn November 2, 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission issued two proposed fines related to Wi-Fi hotspot blocking. In the first notice the FCC proposed a penalty of $718,000 against M.C. Dean, one of the largest U.S. electrical contracting companies, for allegedly interfering with and disabling the operation of consumers’ Wi-Fi devices at the Baltimore Convention Center.  In the second notice, the FCC proposed a $25,000 penalty against Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc., for “willfully and repeatedly” failing to respond to an FCC inquiry and for obstructing the agency’s investigation.

The Commission voted 3-2 to fine M.C. Dean, with Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly dissenting.  In separate statements, Commissioner Pai and Commissioner O’Rielly asserted that before releasing enforcement actions against Wi-Fi blocking, the Commission must first adopt rules limiting the practice.  Commissioner O’Rielly noted that the Commission is “once again, trying to set important and complex regulatory policy by enforcement adjudication.”  Commissioner Pai made a similar argument, stating “because the Commission dropped the ball earlier this year, we do not have any rules that limit Wi-Fi blocking,” going on to note that “the only relevant rules we have on the books preclude liability in these circumstances.”  In addition, Commissioner Pai highlighted that Section 333 of the Communications Act has never before been interpreted as prohibiting interference between unlicensed devices such as Wi-Fi devices.

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Posted in Drones E. Tazewell EllettLisa EllmanPatrick R. Rizzi

FAA Task Force Recommends Sweeping UAS Registration Requirements

As previously reported here and here, a month ago on October 19, 2015, the Department of Transportation (DOT) created a registration task force (RTF) charged with making recommendations to the FAA on what mandatory registration of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including those used for recreational or hobby use, should look like. Yesterday, the FAA publicly released the RTF’s much-anticipated final recommendations report.

Here are the key highlights from the RTF’s report to the FAA:

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Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation

Hogan Lovells and Shenzhen University host legal seminar on outbound tech acquisitions

On October 23, 2015, Hogan Lovells and Shenzhen University hosted a legal seminar on the specific legal issues and challenges arising when a Chinese company “goes out” to acquire shares, assets or patent portfolios of an overseas technology company.  It was the second annual Hogan Lovells seminar on legal issues relevant to the high technology industry in Shenzhen, a reflection of the city’s importance as one of the major centers of business creation and innovation in China.

In 2015, Hogan Lovells lawyers from Beijing, Washington D.C., Düsseldorf and Brussels from the antitrust, corporate, intellectual property and trade practice groups, as well as a professor from the law school of Shenzhen University, discussed the Chinese outbound regulatory rules, US national security and export control regimes, patent due diligence and antitrust and merger control issues faced by Chinese companies planning outbound technology acquisitions.  After a brief introduction of the relevant legal rules, the speakers developed a lively panel discussion about a concrete and practical case study to “simulate” how a company should behave in an actual case.

In-house counsel and representatives from many important Shenzhen high-tech companies participated in the seminar. The event was also reported by a prominent local newspaper Shenzhen Special Zone Daily on November 10, 2015 (see the link here).

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy H. Deen KaplanHarriet PearsonTimothy Tobin

New York Department of Financial Services Previews Rigorous Cybersecurity Rules for Financial Sector

NYDFS-Logo-300x300On November 9, 2015, Anthony Albanese, Acting Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), issued a letter to a wide array of federal and state financial services regulators that are part of the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee (FBIIC). The FBIIC members work together to enhance the reliability and security of financial sector infrastructure. Mr. Albanese’s letter outlines potential new cybersecurity regulations that would impact NYDFS-regulated financial institutions. The letter, which follows numerous steps taken by the NYDFS in recent years to better understand and mitigate cybersecurity risks, further positions the NYDFS as a leading regulator on cybersecurity issues in the U.S., particularly with respect to the financial sector. While no precise timeline was specified for enacting the potential regulations outlined, it appears likely that the NYDFS may formally propose comprehensive cybersecurity regulations in the months ahead.

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Posted in Broadcasting, Telecoms & Broadband Federico Hernández Arroyo

TMT Deal Trends in Mexico

Article 1 Mexico The challenges of the new teleocmmunications and broadcasting lawAs in the U.S. and other European countries, the Mexican telecommunications and broadcasting market has been very active in M&A deals. Just over two years ago, a major constitutional reform in telecommunications entered into force and the new law is reaching its first anniversary. This new regulatory framework has lifted many entry barriers, including removing the 49% restriction of foreign investment in telecoms services, and granted more certainty to large and small local and international companies to invest in Mexico.

Click here for our recent update on Mexico TMT deals, as published in our Global Media and Communications Quarterly.

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Eugene Low

Data Users Alert: New Guidance on Data Breach Handling in Hong Kong

HK-Privacy--300x88On 9 October 2015, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data published a Guidance Note on “Data Breach Handling and the Giving of Breach Notifications“, a revised version of its June 2010 edition.

The Guidance Note gives guidance to data users (the concept of ‘data user’ is similar to the concept of ‘data controller’ under EU law) on how to deal with data breaches. In particular, the Guidance Note provides more of a focus on the relationship between data users and data processors (third parties engaged to process data on behalf of others and not for their own purposes). A data user engaging a data processor must adopt contractual or other means to ensure personal data security.

The Guidance Note advises data users to consider taking the following steps when facing a data breach:

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Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation Meghan Edwards Ford Rissmiller

TMT 2020: Salvation Through Innovation: Not So Fast

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We are excited to present this entry in our new TMT2020 series, which reflects the key technology, media, and telecoms legal issues that are expected to impact today’s organizations and tomorrow’s marketplace.  It also provides an opportunity to highlight contributions by TMT associates across our global offices and practice areas. 

Looking to get your deal cleared in the U.S.? Point to a disruptive technology or innovative new entrant as evidence that current market shares are not indicative of the combined company’s future significance.  Easy clearance in less than 30 days, right?  No so, according to the outgoing Deputy Director of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, Stephen Weissman.

In remarks before the Washington State Bar Association on November 4, 2015, Mr. Weissman warned that merging parties’ claims that “disruptive forces . . . will soon emerge and shake up the competitive dynamic in the market in the near future” do not automatically result in clearance.  This is significant for companies in the TMT space, where technological change is omnipresent and current market shares are often not indicative of the future competitive landscape.  In this article, we describe how the U.S. competition agencies evaluate innovation and tips from Mr. Weissman’s speech on how to make such arguments effectively during merger review.

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Posted in Advertising, Internet Adrian EmchZhen FengEugene Low

Most recent Chinese ‘ad block’ judgment affirms ad-based revenue model for Internet businesses

wfsazOn 14 October 2015, a local court in Shanghai adopted the latest in a series of judgments on the legality of software and other technical measures that block or skip advertisements on digital platforms.

In its judgment, the Shanghai Yangpu District People’s Court found that Juwangshi Technology Corporation (“Juwangshi“), a video streaming service aggregator, had breached anti-unfair competition rules by utilizing certain decryption measures to block ads while displaying videos streamed from iQiyi, one of China’s main online video sites. The judgment also addressed the issue of online businesses “scraping content” (i.e., using information) from other websites.

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Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Mark Brennan

FCC Continues String of Data Security Cases, Settling with Cox for $595,000

fcc-logo_light-blue-gradient-on-gray3-150x137On November 5, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau announced a $595,000 settlement agreement with Cox Communications, Inc. to resolve an investigation into whether the company failed to properly protect its customers’ personal information when electronic data systems were breached in August 2014.  According to the FCC, Cox exposed the personal information of numerous customers and failed to report the breaches through the Commission’s established breach-reporting portal.

This is the third FCC data security settlement this year.  In July, the FCC settled an investigation into TerraCom Inc. and YourTel America Inc. for $3.5 million for failing to safeguard customers’ personal information, and in April reached a $25 million settlement with AT&T Services Inc. to resolve similar claims.

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