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Global Media and Communications Watch

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

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology Trey Hanbury

FCC Announces Members of Precision Agriculture Task Force

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, announced the members of the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States (Task Force). The Task Force, an advisory body to the FCC, will investigate the current state of broadband access in agricultural lands and recommend policies and regulatory solutions to the FCC to promote broadband deployment and precision agriculture, standardize data collections, and target funding towards unserved areas.  The Task Force is also slated to identify ways for the Department of Agriculture and the FCC to collaborate to achieve these shared goals.

Teddy Bekele, Land O’Lakes Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, will serve as Chair of the Task Force, and Catherine Moyer, Pioneer Communications Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, will serve as Vice Chair. A full list of members is included in this Public Notice. The first meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for Monday, December 9, 2019, at 9:30 am, and is open to the public.

In addition to announcing the members of the Task Force, the FCC released another Public Notice soliciting nominations for four working groups charged with assisting the Task Force. Those working groups are: (1) Mapping and Analyzing Connectivity on Agricultural Lands, (2) Examining Current and Future Connectivity Demand for Precision Agriculture, (3) Encouraging Adoption of Precision Agriculture and Availability of High-Quality Jobs on Connected Farms, and (4) Accelerating Broadband Deployment on Unserved Agricultural Lands.  The Public Notice provides instructions on eligibility for the working groups and how to submit nominations. Nominations to the working groups are due by Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

Posted in Advertising, Technology Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh

esports – gearing up to play in the pro leagues!

esports are so much more than an innovative, rapidly growing competitive sports discipline: from a brand owner and investor perspective, esports also provide truly global multi-channel opportunities for unique marketing and advertising initiatives with the potential to appeal to today’s over-sated young audiences. And with the rapid growth of the industry comes its increasingly sophisticated regulation, providing a degree of stability and legal certainty that is crucial for attracting investment. In short, esports come equipped with everything to make the industry a vibrant hot-spot for exciting new business initiatives. At the same time, the complexity of entwined intellectual property rights owned by stakeholders on various levels calls for careful draftsmanship when businesses decide to join the esports arena.

esports are video games played competitively and professionally at a scale that beggars belief. Teams compete for millions of dollars in prize money, playing live matches in arenas with huge audiences and accompanied by the full orchestrations of the digital age: huge video screens, epic cinematic soundtracks, witty commentators and roaring fan crowds. And simultaneously, fans all over the world are following the live streams of matches on dedicated esports channels such as Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Azubu.

Stakeholders and their global Millenial audiences

The numbers speak for themselves: esports have generated over USD 900 million in revenues in 2018,with revenues expected to grow to USD 1.4 billion by 2020. The industry combines a wide circle of different stakeholders, including game publishers, teams, players and their sponsors, league organizations, eventorganizers, advertisers, broadcasters, merchandise vendors and manufacturers of dedicated software and hardware.

And they all vie for the attention of a truly global crowd of esports enthusiasts whose demographics are every advertiser’s dream: the majority of esports viewers are Millennials under the age of 35. This audience is notoriously hard to reach through traditional forms of advertising – only a meagre 6 % of Millennials find traditional forms of advertising credible, and the majority have adblockers installed and will routinely ignore standard online advertising formats. In contrast, most esports enthusiasts have a favorable view of brand involvement in esports.

It comes as no surprise, then, that global brands from every industry, covering tech and consumer goods, automotive and financial institutions, are avidly exploring the wide range of brand involvement opportunities that esports can offer: from sponsoring an entire tournament (such as the Intel Extreme Masters), a team or individual players, to positioning brand messages within a game (think of brands shown on the shirts of virtual football players in FIFA games), in-stream advertising on Twitch and You-Tube Gaming, to merchandise (such as Hasbrotoy figures of Overwatch characters). The opportunities are manifold, and they are fresh and appealing.

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Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Arpan Sura

Defense Department and FCC to Collaborate on 5G Testbeds

On October 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense announced a plan to pilot 5G technologies on four military installations in partnership with private industry and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.  Lisa Porter, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, revealed the Defense Department’s plans during an appearance at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Los Angeles with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Diane Rinaldo, Assistant Secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  Both Porter and Pai heralded the project, known as Defense Next Generation Information Communications Technology, as an opportunity to work with industry and collaborate across federal agencies to advance the Trump Administration’s policy of maintaining the United States’ global leadership in 5G.

The Defense Department will kick off the project later this month when it releases a draft request for proposals (RFP) seeking the private sector’s input on how best to test and deploy 5G technologies to achieve military objectives.  The Defense Department identified three use cases for the first round of opportunities to be included in the upcoming RFP:

  • virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR);
  • Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications; and
  • dynamic spectrum sharing.

A focus on cybersecurity will permeate experimentation in all three areas.  After reviewing responses to the draft RFP, the Defense Department intends to hold an industry day and publish a final RFP in December.

In her comments during the MWC panel and a conference call that followed, Porter emphasized the military’s commitment to 5G and remarked that the “DoD is all in.”  Porter noted the Defense Department’s belief “that the military that masters ubiquitous connectivity will maintain overmatch” and highlighted the importance of ongoing collaboration with the FCC and NTIA.

Spectrum sharing is an important issue for both the military and the private sector.  Historically, the U.S. military and other federal users have enjoyed exclusive access to wide swaths of spectrum, particularly the mid-band spectrum that is integral to 5G deployment around the world.  The commercial wireless industry has repeatedly asked the federal government to repurpose more mid-band spectrum for 5G, and several FCC commissioners have urged the Defense Department to either vacate their bands for private use or to share their spectrum with commercial operators.  For her part, Porter emphasized the importance of finding ways to better leverage spectrum for private use without detracting from the military’s ability to protect the homeland.

The draft RFP will also seek comment on VR/AR and IoT opportunities.  The military is particularly interested in using VR and AR to explore and expand its use of synthetic training environments through 5G networks, which promise to offer significantly enhanced bandwidth and lower latency to permit such military training operations on a ubiquitous, real-time basis  The Defense Department is also interested in testing IoT applications and devices to build “smart” warehouses that will help streamline supply chain operations and military logistics.

The Defense Department recently announced four military installations that will host the first rounds of testing and experimentation: (1) Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; (2) Hill Air Force Base, Utah; (3) Naval Base San Diego, California; and (4) Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia.  These bases were chosen “for their ability to provide streamlined access to site spectrum bands, mature fiber and wireless infrastructure, access to key facilities, support for new or improved infrastructure requirements, and the ability to conduct controlled experimentation with dynamic spectrum sharing.”

The timing and scope of the final RFP will depend on passage of an FY2020 defense appropriations bill.  After initially requesting permission from Congress to redirect approximately $50 million toward 5G capabilities in FY2019, the Defense Department has asked for $436 million in FY2020 to fund its 5G efforts, including this project.  The Defense Department intends to introduce new opportunities for 5G exploration every quarter, pending the availability of adequate funds.

Posted in Cybersecurity

Lessons for In-House Counsel from Cybersecurity’s Front Lines

Recent developments reinforce the urgent need for general counsel and legal departments to deepen their focus on cybersecurity. In today’s environment, any organization can be the target of a cyberattack, regardless of industry, size, or geographic footprint. Indeed, in just the past few years, a variety of cyber adversaries have attacked financial institutions, social media sites, a movie studio, hospital systems, a peer-to-peer ridesharing company, the Democratic National Committee, hotel chains, city governments, educational institutions, telecommunications and energy utilities, prominent retailers, manufacturers, and even the mobile app of a well-known coffee and donut chain.

Lessons for In-House Counsel from Cybersecurity’s Front Lines was written by members of the Hogan Lovells Privacy and Cybersecurity practice Peter M. Marta and Asmaa Awad-Farid for Bloomberg Law.

To read the full article, click here.

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, privacy and security litigation

Privacy and Cybersecurity November 2019 Events

Please join us for our November 2019 events.

November 5
Your Body as Data
Mark Brennan will speak on the panel, “Your Body as Data: Facial Recognition, Biometrics, and the Future of Privacy,” at the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America.
Location: Washington, D.C.

November 5
2019 Data Protection Leadership Forum
Eduardo Ustaran will speak during the session, “International Issues,” and will participate in a Q&A Session at the 2019 Data Protection Leadership Forum hosted by Arthur Cox.
Location: Dublin

November 20
IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress
Eduardo Ustaran will lead the discussion “EU Privacy Law, But Not as You Know It,” at the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2019.
Location: Brussels

November 21
IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress
Eduardo Ustaran will speak on the panel, “Data Transfer Mechanisms: Where Do We Go From Here?” at the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress.
Location: Brussels

November 21
IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress
Bret Cohen and Nicola Fulford will speak on the panel, “From GDPR to CCPA and Beyond: Adapting a GDPR Programme for Global Privacy Laws,” at the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress.
Location: Brussels

November 21
Cybersecurity Preparedness
Pete Marta will discuss what financial institutions and service providers need to know about cybersecurity and cyber incident preparedness during the Hogan Lovells event, “Current issues and risks associated with cybersecurity.” This event is approved for CLE credit. To register, click here.
Location: Hogan Lovells New York office

Posted in Blockchain, Policy & Regulation

Hogan Lovells Blockchain Summit

Please join us and Global Digital Finance for a series of in-depth panels and presentations on regulatory and compliance issues from industry leaders and legal compliance specialists on “The Impact of Digital Assets on Financial Institutions”.

When: Tuesday 5 November 2019, 2.30pm – 5.30pm (Conference); 5.30pm – 8.00pm (Drinks Reception) (GMT)

Where: Hogan Lovells London

Keynote speakers:

Lawrence Wintermeyer

Co-Chair, Global Digital Finance

Keith Bear

Fellow, Centre for Alternative Finance, Cambridge Judge Business School

Hogan Lovells speakers:

John Salmon

Andrew Carey

Sharon Lewis

Jonathan Chertkow

Michael Thomas

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Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Copyright, Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, intellectual property, International/EU privacy, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology

A Turning Point for Tech – Global survey on digital regulation

Whilst political uncertainty may have businesses’ attention fixed, the Hogan Lovells Global Survey on Digital Regulation: ‘A Turning Point for Tech’ suggests that tech companies should be looking elsewhere. During yesterday’s launch at Hogan Lovells’ London Office, editor of the survey, Falk Schoening uncovered the 452 digital regulations that had been proposed across 16 jurisdictions in just six months of monitoring. The report aims to provide insight for what is on the horizon for tech companies, giving them a ‘heads up’ on how they should look at their business models in preparation for potential incoming regulation.

One of the strongest themes of the report was the shift in sentiment to give greater power to competition authorities with 26% of the proposals based around these issues. A panel discussion, chaired by Peter Watts, debated the key findings of the report. Charles Brasted highlighted that societal impact of the tech companies played a big part in driving some of these proposals. He explained that there are growing concerns over what value is given to citizens by these companies, resulting in distrust and calls for regulatory pressure. Louise Crawford noted that this was coupled with increased awareness and sensitivity around the use of data, largely encouraged by the GDPR. John Salmon and Ruth Milligan both noted that consumers needed a sense of control over their data and to realise the benefit of its use before they could trust the providers, referencing progress made under PSD2 and the UK Open Banking initiative.

The discussion concluded by looking at some of the more deep seated issues of economic nationalism. A theme that the Hogan Lovells team has followed for some time, the survey interestingly identified the large number of national proposals made in this area by EU member states, despite the EU making proposals of their own. Rupert Shiers explained that this was something that was also apparent in the protectionist policies being implemented around taxation with regulators seemingly wanting to compete with each other. Whilst a global approach would seem to be the optimal approach, John Salmon explained that cultural norms and differing approaches and mentality of jurisdictions leave this an unrealistic feat.

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

FCC Announces Participants in Auction 103

In a Public Notice released October 7, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the status of the 39 short-form applications for Auction 103, which is scheduled to begin on December 10, 2019. Auction 103 will offer 14,144 licenses covering some 3,400 megahertz of spectrum in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands.

The FCC announced 29 complete and 10 incomplete applications for Auction 103. All applicants with complete applications will become qualified bidders upon receipt by the FCC of the required upfront payment by October 22, 2019. Applicants with incomplete applications must correct any deficiencies and remit the upfront payment by the October 22, 2019, deadline.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and DISH have filed to participate in the competitive bidding process.  None of the major cable companies appear to have submitted applications.

Applicants typically apply through subsidiaries, many of which have fairly inscrutable names.  But the FCC tracks real parties in interest, and the chart below compares the applicant name against the real parties in interest.

Complete Applications

Incomplete Applications



Posted in Technology

Tech events – Autumn 2019

London: Tech – Who Wins? Who Loses?  

20 years after the bursting of the dotcom bubble, the business of technology is more turbulent than ever.

As regulators and politicians pose difficult questions about digitalisation, how will that impact those who put technology at the heart of their business models? Do big deals and digital transformation which blur the boundaries between tech and other sectors come with new risks – for tech companies and their more traditional rivals? What will soaring valuations mean if a downturn comes?

In several events this autumn, we explore what these issues mean. Not just for the traditional tech sector but for every company which sees tech as its future, and for their investors and advisors too.

Tech M&A European roadshow

A view from Silicon Valley on today’s hot topics in the tech M&A marketplace. Invite your clients to join us in Munich, London and Moscow for informative sessions looking at:

  • What makes tech M&A different from “old economy” M&A?
  • “Old economy” companies as buyers of tech companies, and related cultural challenges
  • The current tech M&A landscape in Munich, London and Moscow as well as the U.S. and globally
  • Cross-border tech M&A activity between these juristictions – U.S-style vs. European-style deal documentation
  • Valuing tech acquisition targets – metrics and methodologies

We hope you can join us!

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Posted in Policy & Regulation Mark BrennanArpan SuraJohn Castle

California Enacts Another CCPA – Robocall Legislation

On October 2, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Consumer Call Protection Act of 2019 to address the rise in deceptive robocalls and protect California consumers from fraudulent calls.

The law requires telecommunications service providers to implement Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) and Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN) protocols by January 1, 2021.  These protocols are designed to attest to the authenticity of caller identification data and provide service providers with information to help ensure that calls are not spoofed.  Carriers may also implement an “alternative technology” as long as it “provides comparable or superior capability to verify and authenticate caller identification for calls carried over an internet protocol network.”  Demonstrating a “good faith” effort to implement STIR/SHAKEN will serve as a defense against a claim that a service provider failed to meet the STIR/SHAKEN deadline.  The law does not require carriers to block calls. Continue Reading