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

Penny Thornton

Posts by Penny Thornton
Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Oliver Wilson

UK regulator publishes consultation on video-sharing platform regulation

On Friday 16 July 2020, the UK communications regulator, Ofcom, published a consultation on video-sharing platform regulation, calling for views by 24 September 2020. The UK government intends to introduce a new statutory framework this Autumn to implement the revised Audio-Visual Media Services Directive, including new obligations on UK-established video-sharing platforms (which the consultation says might include platforms such as TikTok and Twitch). This is an interim regime for the regulation of UK video-sharing platforms until the new online harms framework comes into force. Ofcom is seeking views now from

Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation Photo of Peter WattsPhoto of Penny Thornton

Online Harms White Paper: UK Government publishes its consultation response

The UK Government Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) has today published its initial response to the public consultation on the Online Harms White Paper, published in April 2019.  In its response, DCMS gives an indication of how it plans to adapt the proposed regulatory framework to take account of some of the concerns raised by industry stakeholders, including the fact that is it minded to make Ofcom the new regulator and that Ofcom will be providing guidance on the companies in scope. The Online Harms White Paper, published

Posted in Copyright Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair Shaw

DSM Watch: new rules for online transmissions of TV and radio programmes

On 15 April the Agriculture and Fisheries Council formally adopted the Directive on online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of TV and radio programmes (the “Directive”), following the European Parliament’s first-reading adoption on 28 March (which also amended the proposed Regulation to a Directive). Broadly, the Directive aims to facilitate the cross-border transmission, within the EU, of certain radio and TV programmes. Once it has been published in the Official Journal of the EU, Member States will have 24 months to implement. As with the new Copyright Directive, it

Posted in Copyright, Policy & Regulation Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair ShawPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Benedikt LüthgePhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne Schmitt

DSM Watch: EU Copyright Directive clears the finish line

On 15th April the Council of the European Union adopted the EU Copyright Directive (the “Directive”), ending a negotiation process which first started with the Commission’s proposal for a new Directive in early 2016. After publication in the Official Journal of the EU, Member States will have two years to implement the Directive. In Council the UK voted to adopt the Directive, but it’s by no means certain that the UK will implement it. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal it will not be bound to do so,

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair ShawPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Benedikt LüthgePhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne Schmitt

DSM Watch: EU Copyright Directive clears the finish line

Today the Council of the European Union adopted the EU Copyright Directive (the “Directive”), ending a negotiation process which first started with the Commission’s proposal for a new Directive in early 2016. After publication in the Official Journal of the EU, Member States will have two years to implement the Directive. In Council the UK voted to adopt the Directive, but it’s by no means certain that the UK will implement it.  If the UK leaves the EU without a deal it will not be bound to do so, nor

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Policy & Regulation Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne SchmittPhoto of Benedikt Lüthge

DSM Watch: Navigating Article 13 (now 17) of the Copyright Directive

On 26 March 2019 the EU Parliament voted to pass the draft Copyright Directive (“Directive”) into EU law.  After adoption by the EU Council (representatives of Member State governments) and official publication, the EP’s adopted text will become EU law. Member States will then have until mid-2021 to implement it into their national laws. DSM Watch has already overviewed the whole Directive here, and looked at Article 11 on a new press publishers’ right (re-numbered Article 15 in the adopted text) here. Now we take a deeper dive into the heavily debated

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Entertainment & Content, Internet Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Lucy AdelmanPhoto of Jamie Pollock

UK House of Lords Select Committee calls for a Digital Authority to regulate the online world

On 9 March 2019, the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications published its report on “Regulating in a digital World”. It included a number of recommendations to the government, including 10 guiding principles for the development of regulation online, a new public interest test for data driven mergers and a new Digital Authority, to oversee regulation of the digital world. The Select Committee on Communications is appointed by the House of Lords “to look at a broad range of communication and broadcasting public policy issues and highlight areas of

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU), Intellectual Property, Policy & Regulation Photo of Benedikt LüthgePhoto of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne Schmitt

DSM Watch: Copyright Directive press publishers’ rights: final edition of Article 11 is now Article 15

Yesterday (26 March 2019) the EU Parliament voted to pass the draft Copyright Directive into EU law.  After adoption by the EU Council (representatives of Member State governments) and official publication, the EP’s adopted text will become EU law. Member States will then have until mid-2021 to implement it into their national laws. DSM Watch has already overviewed the whole Directive here, and looked at Article 13 on liability of user-uploaded content services (re-numbered Article 17 in the adopted text) here. Now we take a deeper dive into the heavily debated

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair ShawPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Anne SchmittPhoto of Benedikt LüthgePhoto of Alberto Bellan

DSM Watch: EU Copyright Directive passed by European Parliament

Today the EU Parliament voted to pass the draft Copyright Directive into EU law.  After adoption by the EU Council (representatives of Member State governments) and official publication, it will become EU law.   Member States will then have until mid-2021 to implement it into their national laws.   Despite substantial opposition from blocks of MEPs and the large numbers of the general public, the final text does include the controversial press publishers’ right (Article 11) and content sharing service provider liability regime (Article 13).  But that is not the whole story: the

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne SchmittPhoto of Benedikt Lüthge

DSM Watch: EU Copyright Directive, the big picture

Agreement on a compromise text for the new Copyright Directive was reached between Member State government representatives, EU Parliament representatives and the EU Commission last week (see our “Breakthrough” post). On 20 February 2019, EU Governments formally voted, by a majority, to approve that compromise text: Italy, Poland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Finland opposed it; Belgium and Slovenia abstained.   However, it is not yet law despite some headlines which one may see in the popular press. But now that the draft text has stabilised, at least for the time being,

Posted in Copyright Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair Shaw

EU Copyright Directive: Breakthrough

Last night the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council finally agreed the text of the long-awaited draft Copyright Directive. This followed a breakthrough compromise on the liability of platforms for making available user-uploaded content (Article 13). See our earlier blog of yesterday. The next step will be a vote in the EU Parliament on the agreed text and, assuming it is passed, then it will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. Member States will then have 24 months to implement the new Directive. It remains to

Posted in Copyright Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny Thornton

A second market for “used” e-books – CJEU will decide

Ever since the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in its highly regarded UsedSoft ruling declared the resale of “used” software admissible (dated 3 July 2012, C-128/11), the discussion has persistently centered around the question whether the idea of the so-called exhaustion, upon which UsedSoft is essentially based, could or should be extended to other digital content – such as e-books. The principle of exhaustion states that the resale of works or copies thereof within the European Economic Area (EEA) is permitted without the consent of the rights holder, provided that

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Policy & Regulation, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Peter WattsPhoto of Penny Thornton

The Brexit White Paper: A digital Brexit?

The UK Government’s White Paper sets out detailed proposals for the UK’s relationship with the EU following Brexit. As described in our dissection of the document as a whole, the White Paper sees the digital economy as an area of global opportunity for the UK.   So what does the Government have to say about sector? The White Paper’s distinguishes physical goods from the digital and services sectors. Integrated supply chains and the challenges of the Irish border have driven an approach to physical goods which maintains a high degree of

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny Thornton

European Parliament votes to reject controversial Copyright Directive proposal

In a dramatic turn of events, the European Parliament has today voted to reject the compromise position on the controversial draft DSM Copyright Directive, which was adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament on 20 June 2018. A debate on the draft Directive by the whole European Parliament is now set to take place on 10-13 September 2018. The background to today’s vote is that, as announced immediately after the JURI Committee vote on 20 June, the Committee’s decision was challenged by a group of

Posted in Technology Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Imogen Ireland

Are the UK’s intellectual property laws ready for AI?

“AI doesn’t just belong to a few tech giants in Silicon Valley”: these were the words of Google Cloud’s chief scientist for AI, Fei-Fei Li, speaking in March 2018 at a panel discussion on the impact of AI. Whilst companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Google have been at the forefront of AI for a number of years, many organizations across many different industries, are now looking to jump on the bandwagon, as AI continues to permeate the public consciousness. In response to the gathering momentum behind AI, thought-leaders in

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny Thornton

DSM Watch: One step closer to a European copyright reform

After a long and intense debate – including several postponements – the Committee of Legal Affairs of the European Parliament (JURI) finally agreed on its position on the draft DSM copyright directive. Of course, the plenary is still required to hand down its final vote on JURI’s report. And the trilogue amongst the three legislative institutions is also to follow. However, we are very close to the long awaited position of the Parliament which is the necessary condition for the trilogue to start. It is fair to say that the debate

Posted in Copyright Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny Thornton

UK Supreme Court holds rights-holders should bear the costs of web-blocking injunctions

The Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated judgment in Cartier International AG v British Telecommunications Plc today. The Judges held unanimously that rights-holders should bear the costs of implementing website-blocking injunctions. In doing so, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal majority judgment. Although the case concerned blocking sites selling counterfeits, the judgment is not limited to online trade mark infringement. It will also apply in cases where ISPs (who are not caching or hosting) are required to block access to infringing copyright content. The background to the case

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny Thornton

DSM Watch: Copyright Directive moves a step closer as EU Council publishes agreed draft

On 25 May 2018, after months of discussions, the EU Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) finally agreed its position on the draft Copyright Directive (see the official press release here), although it has been suggested that Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Belgium and Hungary did not support it. The agreed text (read it in full here) will serve as the mandate for the Council Presidency to negotiate with the EU Parliament, once the Parliament has agreed its own position. The EU Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) is due to

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair Shaw

DSM Watch: EU Copyright reform – where do we stand?

Reform of EU copyright is the core of the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy. Various legislative initiatives have been proposed but the “heart” of the reform is without a doubt the proposal for a new copyright directive. While there appears to be a growing consensus on the wording of most articles, a few key provisions remain under debate. In this article we comment on the current 23 April and 17 May 2018 draft proposals published by the Council of the EU (Member State governments’ representatives). Originally the hope had been

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny Thornton

EU: Portability Regulation – important deadline of 2 June 2018

The Portability Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 came into force on 1 April 2018. Part of the EU Commission’s aim to establish a Digital Single Market, the Regulation facilitates cross-border portability of online content. It allows for subscribed content services to “travel” with the subscriber throughout the entire European Union. Be it movies, sport events, music, e-books, online games, they all need to remain accessible when temporarily abroad in another Member State. Service providers need to make sure this travel option is provided to their customers. Providers of free-of-charge online content services

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny Thornton

DSM Watch: the new Copyright Directive – recent developments on the proposed Ancillary Right for Press Publishers

The European Parliament’s Rapporteur on the draft Copyright Directive (COM (2016) 593), Axel Voss, released proposed amendments to Article 11 and its corresponding recitals at the end of March. Mr Voss’s draft, for the shadow Rapporteurs on the Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), introduces a number of remarkable suggested changes, which diverge significantly from the Bulgarian Presidency’s compromise proposal debated by the Council’s Working Party on Intellectual Property the same day. The idea itself of an ancillary right for press publishers is being widely questioned following the setbacks experienced

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny Thornton

European Copyright Reform: Final Vote by JURI postponed to June 2018

The copyright reform is one of the core pillars of the EU Commissions endeavor to create a real Digital Single Market within the European Union. However, despite of the first draft of the new Copyright Directive (COM (2016) 593 final) having been published some time ago (14 September 2016) the EU institutions seem to have difficulties in getting to terms with the final wording. In Brussels as well as in Strasbourg we see a multitude of differing views on how the new law shall be phrased. This week, the Committee of

Posted in Copyright Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair Shaw

Commission’s notice on Brexit and copyright: Is it as bad as it sounds?

On 28 March 2018 the Commission published a Notice to Stakeholders on the Withdrawal of the UK and EU rules in the field of Copyright. The Notice reminds stakeholders that, unless the UK comes to an agreement with the EU, there will be legal repercussions to Brexit. The Commission Notice says that all EU “primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019”. It goes on to point out that, although the UK is a party to many of the main international copyright

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny Thornton

DSM Watch: Regulation on Portability of Online Content comes into force 1 April 2018

This year’s Easter holiday brings with it a further milestone in the Commission’s endeavor to bring about a truly Digital Single Market: The Portability Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 comes into force on 1 April 2018. The Regulation facilitates cross-border portability of online content. It allows for subscribed content services to “travel” with the subscriber throughout the entire European Union. Be it movies, sport events, music, e-books, online games, they all need to remain accessible when temporarily abroad in another Member State. Service providers need to make sure this travel option is