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

Category Archives: Broadcasting

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content Penny Thornton

USA: Supreme Court finds Aereo live streaming service infringes copyright

The US Supreme Court has delivered its much anticipated ruling in American Broadcasting Cos., Inc., et al. v Aereo, Inc, a case about whether Aereo’s live streaming service infringes US broadcasters’ public performance right. The Supreme Court found that it does, overturning the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In 2012 the owners of various copyrights … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Entertainment & Content Winston Maxwell

French sports rights: BeIN Sport wins lower court victory against Canal +

In a June 18, 2014 decision, the Commercial Court of Nanterre found that French pay-tv challenger beIN Sport had not committed unfair business practices by pricing its pay TV subscription at only 11€ per month.  France’s principal pay TV provider Canal + argued that beIN Sport had abused market rules by charging a price so low that it could never … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Michele Farquhar

Broadcast Incentive Auction Update: Rules of the Road Coming Soon

The FCC is expected to vote on rules governing the broadcast incentive auction during its May 15 open meeting.  Although the Report and Order outlining the rules is still being circulated internally among FCC leadership and has not been released to the public, the FCC has not been shy about telegraphing the direction the final rules might take, including broadcaster-related … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Internet, Policy & Regulation Winston Maxwell

French broadcasting authority proposes to regulate Internet content

France’s broadcasting regulatory authority, the CSA, published in its April 14, 2014 annual report the details of a legislative proposal that would allow the CSA to claim jurisdiction over a broad swath of Internet content called “digital audiovisual services.”  This new category of services would be subject to several of the most fundamental principles of French audiovisual law, such as Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Trey Hanbury

FCC Delays Incentive Auction To Mid-2015

The US Federal Communications Commission has postponed the auction of 600 MHz broadband spectrum currently occupied by the nation’s over-the-air television operators until mid-2015.

In a blog posted on the Federal Communications Commission’s website on December 6, 2013, Chairman Wheeler announced the delay and a more detailed schedule that sets tentative milestones for activities leading up to the auction.   The … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Trey Hanbury

Mexico overhauls telecom regulator, continues ambitious reform

The Mexican telecommunication regulatory body is in the midst of a significant overhaul, and major changes on the horizon could affect any entity with wireless voice or data operations near the U.S.-Mexican border.  Should uncertainty persist into the new year, the Mexican regulatory transition has the potential to affect the upcoming 600 MHz incentive auction, which will require intensive international … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting

Polish competition authority uncovers collusion in sports broadcasting

On 21 August, 2013, the President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (“UOKIK” ) fined pay-per-view (PPV) providers a total amount exceeding PLN 3.6 million for setting a minimum resale price for the PPV transmission of sports events. The UOKIK started antitrust proceedings in November 2012 and found that the license agreements concluded between the holder of Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting Winston Maxwell

French broadcasting authority says streaming service cannot retransmit public service channels under “must-carry” law

Distributors of television services in France have a must-carry obligation with regard to France’s public service broadcasting channels, including the channels broadcast by France Télévisions.  This must-carry obligation is coupled with an implicit must-offer obligation on the part of public service broadcasters.  In other words, public service broadcasters cannot refuse signal carriage by a distributor that is subject to Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing

Aereo/Aereokiller Update: The Ongoing Battle Over What Constitutes a Public Performance Under the Copyright Act

Recap

When we last checked in on our combatants, federal district courts in New York and California had come to contrary conclusions as to whether the unlicensed delivery of copyrighted content to subscribers over the Internet by companies that used virtually identical technologies constituted a public performance under the Transmit Clause of the Copyright Act.[1] In both cases, the companies … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum Winston Maxwell

European Commission proposes co-regulatory solutions for connected TV

The European Commission’s Green Paper “Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values” asks stakeholders to comment on some of the most difficult policy questions of the decade, such as how to preserve European audiovisual policy objectives in a borderless Internet environment.  Here are highlights:

Copyright.  The Commission refers to its ongoing work on copyright reform, Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet Peter WattsPenny Thornton

The Court of Justice of the European Union has handed down its judgment in ITV Broadcasting Ltd (and others) v TV Catchup Ltd.

The Court of Justice of the European Union Rules in ITV Broadcasting Ltd (and others) v TV Catchup Ltd.

In an important case that re-enforces the breadth of the basic rights of broadcasters and content owners to control the distribution of content by alternative technical means, the CJEU recently ruled that live internet streaming of a free-to-air television channel … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Reform of the telecom & broadcasting sectors in Mexico

Mexico has announced a major reform in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors, liberalizing not only foreign investment, but also promising antitrust enforcement and government infrastructure sharing, along with targeted sector-specific regulatory reform. These changes, when implemented, will provide significant opportunities for international investors to enter and/or increase their positions in the Mexican telecommunications and broadcasting sectors.

The attached summary presents Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing

Aereo v. Aereokiller: New York and California District Courts Disagree on What Constitutes a Public Performance Under the Copyright Act

Technology continues to evolve at an ever increasing pace, often leaving in its wake lawsuits that require the application of laws enacted before the technological advancements occurred. Perhaps it is not too surprising, then, that in struggling to apply “old laws” to “new technologies,” courts sometimes reach contrary conclusions.

A recent example of this phenomenon involves two companies that provided … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Peter Watts

Insights into future UK policy

UK minister Ed Vaizey today sketched the Government’s approach to some areas of media and communications policy ahead of a formal White Paper expected in the first half of 2013.

Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention he provided insights on areas including;

  • Spectrum: Alongside explicit recognition of the critical importance of spectrum, the Minister emphasised a continued focus on freeing
Continue Reading
Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Time Warner Cable’s latest victory proves significant for the communications infrastructure industry

On December 13, 2012 the Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) ruled that the City of San Antonio’s electric company had discriminated against Time Warner Cable and in favor of AT&T. The PUC found that the discrimination occurred with respect to the rates (that were four to five times as high), terms and conditions for access to the utility’s poles (including … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Spectrum Trey Hanbury

Truth or Dare: Encouraging Truthful Bidding in the US Incentive Auction

By: Coleman Bazelon & Giulia McHenry, The Brattle Group; Trey Hanbury, Hogan Lovells

The Federal Communications Commission recently proposed a voluntary “incentive auction” of most of the nation’s over-the-air television frequencies.  The process of trading rabbit ears for smartphones begins with a reverse auction for the broadcasters’ spectrum.  The auction is called a “reverse” auction because the … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Entertainment & Content, Policy & Regulation

New self-regulatory system for UK press?

The UK’s review of the culture, practices and ethics of the press has now published  recommendations for the future. The presiding Judge, Lord Leveson, described his Inquiry as “the most public and the most concentrated look at the press that this country has seen”.

The report emphasises the need for a “genuinely independent and effective system of self-regulation” which can … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Winston Maxwell

French broadcasting authority proposes cultural exception to net neutrality

France’s broadcasting and telecommunications regulatory authorities recently delivered to the French government their recommendations in connection with the future reform of audiovisual and telecom regulation in France.  The reports address the controversial question of whether the two authorities should merge into a single authority, similar to OFCOM in the United Kingdom.  What follows is an English version of an article Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation Peter Watts

Current UK Media Ownership Rules Reaffirmed By Regulator

In a report to Government  UK media and communications regulator Ofcom has concluded that, subject to its own recent recommendations  on the operation of the media plurality test, no immediate changes should be made to the UK rules on media ownership.

This was a regular review which Ofcom is required to undertake every three years. It looked at the following … Continue Reading

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting, Entertainment & Content

Communications Authority Publishes Responses to Public Consultation on Proposed Amendments to the Codes of Practice on Television and Radio Programme and Advertising Standards

In September 2012 the Communications Authority issued a consultation paper to invite views from the public on the proposed amendments to the Codes of Practice governing television and radio programmes and advertising. The results of the consultation were published last week and a summary of the responses can be found here.

Overview of responses

The majority of the responses … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Telecoms & Broadband Penny Thornton

Autumn Edition of Global Media and Communications Quarterly: The New Deal-Making Environment

Our quarterly publication takes an in-depth look at business, legal and regulatory trends, on four continents, affecting the content and digital network industries. The Autumn edition contains the following articles:

The Investment Conundrum, by Peter Watts.  Peter examines the tension between heavy infrastructure investment needed for broadband networks, and the fast-moving, over-the-top, world of content.

Latin America: Mobile Deals Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Entertainment & Content, Policy & Regulation

Long wait ahead for New Free-to-Air Licences in Hong Kong

Three companies (PCCW, City Telecom and i-cable all through newly formed companies to overcome the cross-media restrictions in Hong Kong) applied for free-to-air TV licences following an announcement from the Government a few years back that the duopoly in this market would be abolished.  A few years after the three applications from the new entrants were filed it seems there … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation

Global Radio and GMG Radio’s Merger To Be Scrutinised By The Competition Commission

On 11 October 2012 Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, announced that she would not be referring to the Competition Commission (CC) the merger between Global Radio, which operates the Heart, Capital, LBC, Classic FM, Gold and Xfm radio brands, and the Guardian’s radio arm, GMG Radio, which operates under the Real and Smooth brands. … Continue Reading