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Global Media and Communications Watch

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

Posted in Advertising, Data Protection & Privacy, Policy & Regulation

Digital Media Company Agrees to $4.95 Million COPPA Penalty in Settlement with NYAG

On December 4, 2018, the New York Attorney General (NYAG) announced that Oath Inc., which was known until June 2017 as AOL Inc. (AOL), has agreed to pay a $4.95 million civil penalty to settle allegations that AOL’s ad exchange practices violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The $4.95 million penalty is the largest ever assessed by any regulator in a COPPA enforcement matter.

The NYAG alleged that AOL used its display ad exchange to help advertisers track and serve targeted display ads to children on hundreds of websites that the company knew were directed to children under the age of 13. Ad exchanges enable websites to sell, and advertisers to buy, advertising space through an auction process that takes place in real time after a user visits a webpage that contains ad space. To facilitate its online auctions, AOL allegedly collected, used, and disclosed to advertisers the personal information from child-directed websites’ users without first obtaining verifiable parental consent as required by COPPA. Continue Reading

Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology Christine Gateau

Overcoming IoT litigation challenges: Will regulatory developments in the EU influence the design of connected devices?

How large is the market for the Internet of Things (IoT)? In 2017, the number of IoT products in use was about 8.4 billion. That’s a massive number, and a 31 percent increase over the previous year. And the market continues to grow exponentially; connected products are now found in virtually every area of our lives. So are regulations keeping pace?

In this hoganlovells.com interview, Christine Gateau, a partner at Hogan Lovells in Paris, explores IoT regulatory developments in the EU and their impact on litigation, explains provisions of the Product Liability Directive (PLD), and suggests areas where IoT product litigation risks could be reduced. Continue Reading

Posted in Copyright, Technology

IP in the mix: European Parliament adopts resolution on DLTs & blockchains

The European Parliament has adopted a non-legislative resolution on distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and blockchains. In the resolution, which was adopted last month, the Parliament emphasised that the EU has an opportunity to become “the global leader” in the field of DLT and to be a “credible actor” in shaping its development and markets globally. The resolution discusses potential benefits of DLT/blockchain in a range of sectors, including copyright, patent and data protection (alongside financial services, healthcare, transport, supply chain, education and energy). Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Yvonne DraheimSabrina Dücker

When 3D-printing challenges IP rights

3D-printing changes the way we develop products: an idea can be transformed into a tangible product faster than ever and it is not even expensive anymore.

But what is 3D-printing? Simply put, it is a machine that builds an object out of base materials bu successively stacking thin layers of the material in accordance with a Computer-Aided Design (CAD). The major advantage over conventional moulding processes is its adaptability: one 3D printer can print any template and does not require prefabricated moulds. the template can be created by using a CAD program or by using special 3D scanners if the object already exists. Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Nils Rauer

DSM Copyright Directive: a new leak reveals there is still a long way to go

The provisions of the Copyright Directive (COM(2016)593) are currently being discussed between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission in order to reach a compromise wording. Though these talks are generally strictly confidential, some working documents occassionally find their way out. Here is a summary of the lesons we can learn from the latest document that has leaked.

The story so far

After months of tense debates, both the Council and the Parliament could each find a majority on the wording of the draft directive (read our blog posts here and here). the current stage of the process, as we reported, is the interinstitutional negotiations or so-called trilogue, which takes place behind closed doors between representatives of the Parliament and the Council, with the Commission intervening in a mediating role. Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Ari FitzgeraldSarah K. Leggin

2018: A Space Odyssey – FCC and NASA Herald New Era of Market Friendly Space Policies

On November 8, 2018, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai highlighted the agency’s jam-packed agenda on space and satellite regulation at the Hudson Institute’s “Space 2.0” event in Washington, D.C. In his remarks, he discussed the FCC’s renewed focus on space and satellite policy, and its efforts to promote innovative, commercial technologies through a market-based approach. Thomas E. Cremins, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Strategy and Plans, gave opening remarks and joined Chairman Pai to highlight the interagency cooperation to promote investment and continue U.S. leadership in space. Former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for the Economics of the Internet, moderated the panel discussion. Continue Reading

Posted in Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Ari FitzgeraldSarah K. Leggin

New Discoveries from Galileo? FCC Grants non-Federal Access to Revolutionary European Satellite

At its Open Meeting on November 15, the FCC approved a draft Order that grants in part the European Commission’s (EC) long-pending request for waivers of certain FCC licensing requirements to permit non-Federal U.S. receive-only earth stations to operate with specific signals of the Galileo satellite system (Galileo) without having to obtain an FCC license or grant of US market access.  Galileo was developed by the European Union and consists of a number of satellites operating in the radionavigation-satellite service (RNSS), similar to the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).  The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recommended grant of the requested waivers, and the FCC’s International Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the potential benefits and technical issues associated with the waiver request.  The FCC granted the EC waiver request for operations with the Galileo E1 signal (1559-1591 MHz) and E5 signal (1164-1219 MHz), but denied the request for operations with the E6 signal (1260-1300 MHz).  Continue Reading

Posted in Technology Peter Watts

Big deals, big ideas, and big challenges spur TMT activity

This interview with Peter Watts takes a look into how intense innovation, diverse deal structures, and political protectionism are changing the face of M&A in the technology, media and telecommunications space. Peter focusses on the following questions:

  • What are the main drivers for cross-border deals at the moment?
  • What do you think has been the most intesresting deal of Q3, and why?
  • With innovation as a major driver of deals, do you feel that M&A is the best way for companies to nurture that kind of innovative spirit?
  • Does the drive for innovation differ across other sub-sectors?
  • What are the major challenges to M&A in the sector?
  • As we move towards 2019. what advice do you have for companies looking to do deals in the sector?

Access the full interview on our Deal Dynamics Market Insights resource here

For more analysis, visit Deal Dynamics our powerful interactive data tool with exclusive editorial content providing analysis and insights on cross-border M&A


Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Data Protection & Privacy Jason Lohr

Legal landmines lie in wait for machine learning applications

An ever increasing variety of companies are incorporating machine learning into their products and services. Machine learning provides the ability to quickly and accurately perform, in parellel, a large number of well-defined tasks. The accuracy will improveover time as additional data is obtaied and the machine learning model continues to “learn”. Many companies, however, are struggling with the best way to protect machine learning and artificial intelligence innovation.

In amchine learning, statistical models (ie, neural networks) are trained using a set of classified data. Once trained, the model can analyse unclassified data, such as images representing unidentified objects, and classify or generate observations for the data. A significant issue slowing widespread adopetion of machine learning is the inability to acess or determine the internal relationships or mechanisms y which machine learning generates these observations. Information about the initla configuration and training might be known, but trained models cannot “explain” in easily understandable terms how specific decisions were made. Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Tony Lin

NOAA Hosts First Ever Interagency Satellite Workshop

In October, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) brought together NOAA licensees and prospective licensees and representatives from across the federal government for a workshop on U.S. satellite licensing and compliance regulations. The first of its kind, this three-day event was designed to promote transparency and awareness about government processes and to improve engagement with regulators. The event received widespread support from senior government officials and was well attended by industry.

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