Hogan Lovells’ partner Winston Maxwell was appointed as one of the nine outside experts for a think tank called “CSA Lab” which has been launched by France’s audiovisual regulator, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA). The CSA lab will provide forward-looking insight on how audiovisual regulations should evolve in light of digital transformations of audiovisual creation and distribution. The CSA lab consists of two commissioners from the CSA board, and nine outside experts. Winston will participate in a working group focusing on how regulatory definitions should evolve in light of digital transformations. This work is closely linked to the current discussions on reform of the European Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive. During the June 14, 2016 press conference announcing the launch of the CSA lab, Winston commented on the United States approach to regulation of the Internet, pointing out that the United States Supreme Court had decided in 1997 that broadcasting-style regulations could not be applied to the Internet without violating the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
“The Supreme Court found that broadcasting regulations draw their legitimacy in large part from the scarcity of frequencies used for broadcasting. When that scarcity disappears, the legitimacy of special broadcasting regulations diminishes.”
Winston’s views on broadcasting regulation and the Internet are reflected in the 2014 paper that he wrote at the request of the French Conseil d’Etat on how US courts apply freedom of speech principles to regulation of the Internet.