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Global Media and Communications Watch

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

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband

Tom Sullivan Reflects on His Role as International Bureau Chief

During his remarks at the Winnik Forum, International Bureau Chief Tom Sullivan reflected on the challenges and opportunities of his role as the United States’ top communications diplomat.  “Everyone wants to know what the FCC is doing,” he said.  This interest affords the United States, and the FCC, significant opportunities to exert influence on the most pressing issues at the international level.

According to Sullivan, however, actually convincing other countries to collaborate—or even agree—on priorities, is no easy task.  When relating recent successes sharing best practices with developing countries, Sullivan said the hard and long hours his team invested to earn the trust of other stakeholders represent a threshold requirement for successfully tackling controversial issues.  Sullivan said he considers the current FCC’s efforts to make emergency communications and cybersecurity to be the agency’s foremost priorities.  He also said he remained optimistic about the FCC’s ability to implement its ambitious plans over the next few years.

As to other key areas of focus, Sullivan said achieving international consensus on spectrum allocations and assignments, especially with Canada and Mexico, remained a key priority.  The FCC’s spectrum-related efforts will soon take center stage as countries work to harmonize spectrum bands for next-generation wireless services and as national administrations prepare for the next World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019.

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy Sarah Turner

10 steps to better cybersecurity -‘Intellectual Values seminar series #1’ video

Last month we hosted our annual ‘Intellectual Values’ seminar in London which this year focused on the ‘connected world’. Sarah Turner, an IP partner in our Tech Hub, gave a talk on the steps companies can take to improve their cybersecurity. The potential damage resulting from a cybersecurity attack is ever increasing as the world becomes more and more connected. Sarah encouraged companies to respond now to the threat by taking the following ten steps:

Step one: Acceptance

Delay is the enemy of protection. Nobody is safe as rogue players target all types of business for their money, personal data and intellectual property. Accept that you will experience a cybersecurity incident at some point and start to put appropriate policies and measures in place now. Luckily, most cyber attacks are relatively basic and it is reasonably easy to put good, simple protections in place.

Step two: Understand your vulnerabilities

You should consider whether any of your businesses are operating in particularly vulnerable sectors (such as healthcare or financial services) or jurisdictions and what assets the “bad actors” are likely to be targeting. Competitors, suppliers, cyber criminals, nation states and politically active hackers may all pose a threat. Unfortunately, most cyber attacks will involve a company insider in some way.  Their actions are not always malicious (an employee may unwittingly click on a link in a phishing email thereby permitting access to the business’ networks) but the importance of the human factor within the business cannot be ignored when considering cybersecurity.

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Posted in Copyright, Entertainment & Content Dr. Nils RauerPenny Thornton

CJEU rules on Cloud Recorder: Transmission constitutes a communication to the public that requires the right holders consent

TVOn 29 November 2017, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) handed down a decision on a video recording service that stores TV programmes online in a cloud (C-265/16VCAST). According to the Court, the cloud recording service has a dual function that enables its users to create reproductions on the one hand but also makes copyright protected works publicly available on the other. The means by which the TV program is communicated to the public differs from the means of the original transmission. Therefore, the transmission constitutes a communication to the public and the business model of a cloud recording service without the right holders consent is unlawful.

The Background

Linear TV that can only be watched at a specific time of the day is increasingly substituted by new business models that allow consumers to watch any programs whenever the consumers would like to. One of those business models is currently involved in a litigation in Italy: the cloud recording service of the British operator VCAST Limited. The cloud recorder enables its users to watch terrestrial “free to air” TV programmes by Italian broadcasters – and to store the content in a cloud instead of the private servers of the customers. VCAST did not obtain the right holders consent. By means of the cloud recorder, the Italian TV could also be watched outside of Italy.

The Italian Broadcaster RTI SpA claimed copyright infringement and sued VCAST. However, VCAST relied on the Italian private copying exception based on EU law. The Tribunale di Torino had doubts about the application of this provision on the cloud recording service and therefore submitted two questions that basically deal with the issue whether the cloud recording service is lawful in the light of Art. 5(2) lit. b of the InfoSoc Directive 2001/29.

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Posted in Technology

‘Fashiontech’ hits the catwalk

The popularity of wearable technology has seen a number of collaborations between technology companies and designer brands looking to launch the next big thing in the ‘Fashion Tech’ space. This summer Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket came on the market, which has Google Advanced Technology woven into the jacket, allowing the wearer to wirelessly access their phone to use apps, end a call or listen to music simply by touching their sleeve. This article looks at some of the issues and opportunities from the perspective of a new technology company (the “TechCo”).

Fashion Tech collaborations are clearly advantageous for new technology companies seeking to commercialise their first wearable product. Such technology companies can benefit enormously by being linked to a big name brand with an established reputation and loyal following. The designer and luxury brands also benefit from avoiding the time and cost of the several years of research & development required to bring a new wearable to market.

Initial discussions with a potential business partner may require that TechCo discloses important details regarding its product. The TechCo will want to demonstrate its product has a unique selling point that distinguishes it from its competitors. This will require going into some detail about its technology. The fashion brand may already have some design ideas in mind and will want to understand if TechCo’s technology is compatible with its vision.

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Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Natalia GulyaevaMaria SedykhBret Cohen

Russia Partially Releases 2018 Data Privacy Inspection Plans

Two weeks ago, certain territorial divisions of the Russian Data Protection Authority, Roskomnadzor, published their 2018 plans for conducting inspections of local companies’ compliance with Russian data privacy requirements, including with Russia’s data localization requirement. The inspection plans contain a number of prominent multi-national and Russian companies.

Within such inspections, Roskomnadzor assesses the compliance of the entity with Russian regulations on personal data (consents, policies, decrees, cross-border data transfers, data localization requirement, technical measures, etc.).

Companies operating in Russia can check the inspection plans in their respective regions (Central, North-West, Uralian, Siberian) to determine whether they or their affiliates are subject to audits in the upcoming year and get properly prepared. Plans for South, North Caucasian, Privolzhsky, and Far Eastern regions should be available soon as well.

Posted in e-commerce, Policy & Regulation, Technology

Hogan Lovells Global Payments Newsletter l November 2017

Welcome to the Hogan Lovells Global Payments Newsletter. In this monthly publication we provide an overview of the most recent payments, regulatory and market developments from major jurisdictions around the world as well as sharing interesting reports and surveys on issues affecting the market.

Key developments of interest over the last month include:

Cheque image clearing system launched in the UK: On 30 October 2017, the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company launched the Image Clearing System which enables quicker clearing of cheques by exchanging images of cheques between banks and building societies.

Belgium announces it will miss the PDS2 deadline: The Ministry of Finance has announced that it is unlikely to meet the 13 January 2018 deadline for PSD2 and expects transposition to occur by March 2018.

UK Payment Systems Regulator publishes report and consultation on authorised push payment scams: The report, published on 7 November 2017, explains the actions taken since the Which? super complaint in September 2016 and sets out a new proposal for a “contingent reimbursement model” to protect customers.

To view a PDF of the full Newsletter please click here. You can also follow us on Twitter at @HLPayments for regular news and updates.

Posted in Technology Theodore J. MlynarIra Schaefer

Blockchain and IP: Podcast Interview

Ted Mlynar and Ira Schaefer in our Blockchain-Smart Contracts IPMT Working Group were interviewed for the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal podcast series.

Ted and Ira talk about their work with Ethereum smart contracts, and how blockchain technology can be used to protect intellectual property rights. They also discuss the important new roles for lawyers in implementing the technology and resolving the legal issues surrounding it.

Catch the podcast here

For more international information, please visit our Blockchain: Linked Ledgers topic center.

Posted in e-commerce Peter WattsOliver Wilson

EU ends unjustified geoblocking

What has happened?

The European Union will end unjustified geoblocking for consumers wishing to buy products or services online within the EU before the end of next year.

What does this mean?

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have reached an agreement whereby consumers will be able to buy goods and services online from any EU country.

The EU expects that the new rules will boost e-commerce for the benefit of consumers and businesses.

In effect, people in the EU will now be able to buy products online, rent a car or get their concert tickets across borders on the same terms as are available to people in other EU member states.

They will no longer be asked to pay with a debit or credit card issued in another country.

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Posted in Technology

Technology companies and transfer pricing

Three members of Hogan Lovells transfer pricing team recently joined a host of tech companies and other advisors at the TP Minds West Coast conference in San Francisco. In a series of presentations, panels and workshops spread over three days, participants discussed recent developments in transfer pricing, what tax authorities are doing in the area, and how new technology is posing new challenges and opportunities.

But what is transfer pricing? And why does hardly a week go by, without something appearing in the press about it? In the last fortnight or so, for instance, there has been extensive coverage about plans put forward by Senate and House Republicans in the U.S.to tackle what they see as the untoward behaviour of multinationals in using transfer pricing to avoid paying tax. The sums involved are huge too, running into hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars.

What is transfer pricing?

In basic terms, transfer pricing is the process by which multinational enterprises go about determining what jurisdictions their global profits are booked in. It’s something they have to do in order to draw-up accounts for all their subsidiaries. It involves almost any transactions for goods, services or IP among group entities. And it’s critical when a business is dealing with an acquisition, the integration of two businesses or any other internal restructuring designed to achieve better operating efficiencies.

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Posted in Copyright, Policy & Regulation Dr. Nils RauerAlastair ShawPenny Thornton

DSM Watch: JURI votes on the Draft Regulation on Online Transmissions and Retransmissions and proposes major reduction in scope

This week, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs’ (JURI) took its long awaited and frequently postponed vote on the draft Regulation COM(2016) 594 relating to online transmissions and retransmissions by broadcasters (press release). With fifteen to eight votes (and one abstention), JURI –the lead EP committee on this proposal – adopted the paper which is likely to become the European Parliament’s position in the trilogue with the Council and Commission. The proposed amendments to the Commission’s first draft can be expected to be approved in plenary shortly.


In the context of the Digital Single Market Strategy, the European Commission aims to simplify the cross-border clearance of rights for broadcasters and thereby enhance the distribution of content within the European Union. Therefore, on 14 September 2016, the Commission presented its draft regulation on online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes. The draft addresses two main issues: (1) the extension of the “country of origin” principle to broadcasters own online services (so called “ancillary online services“), and (2) the technologically neutral extension of the retransmission right to certain closed networks. For more detailed information about the proposed draft, please have a look at our blog post.

After the rapporteur Tiemo Wölken published a draft report in May 2017 which was recognizably in favour of more far-reaching provisions, there was a lot of push back by the other parliamentary committees as well as by industry representatives. In consideration of the received feedback, rapporteur Wölken worked out a compromise which was leaked not long ago (see our respective blog). Now JURI has taken its final vote on the matter. And, apparently rapporteur Tiemo Wölken is disappointed. From his initial comment we learn:

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