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Global Media and Communications Watch

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

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Dr. Nils RauerAlastair ShawPenny Thornton

DSM Watch: JURI once again postpones final vote on new copyright directive

The European copyright reform is underway. The heart of this process clearly is the draft for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (COM 2016(593) final). The draft is and the proposed amendments to it are currently being considered by the European Parliament. The debate is led by the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). It was anticipated that JURI would have its final vote on the amended wording on 10 October 2017. However, the draft Copyright Directive has recently been removed from the agenda for that date. For now, it seems that we will have to wait until JURI’s next session on 7 December 2017 to see the bill progressing.

It is not the first time the copyright reform has been taken off JURI’s agenda. Initially, the committee had planned to take its vote on the final language in late September 2017. However, it was not going to happen. Too much was on the committee’s plate. The second postponement now tells an ongoing story. The changes that the new copyright directive shall bring about are broad in nature and impact.

The main reason for the delay obviously is the high number of suggested amendments we have seen since the Commission announced its initial draft – in total 996! The original draft dates back to 14 September 2016. It involves several highly controversial and sensitive copyright issues. The two most contentious issues are the creation of a new neighbouring right for press publishers (Article 11) and the introduction of new monitoring obligations for certain online service provider (Article 13) (see our blog posts here and here).

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Posted in e-commerce, Policy & Regulation, Technology

Hogan Lovells Global Payments Newsletter l September 2017

Welcome to the Hogan Lovells Global Payments Newsletter. In this monthly publication we provide an overview of the most recent payments, regulatory and market developments from major jurisdictions around the world as well as sharing interesting reports and surveys on issues affecting the market.

Key developments of interest over the last month include:

France publishes seven Decrees to complete the implementation of PSD2: The French government has published seven Decrees to supplement the Ordinance 2017-1252 implementing PSD2 which address requirements applying to payment institutions and mandatory information to be used in payment services contracts.

UK FCA publishes revised guidance and Handbook rules for PSD2: On 19 September 2017, the FCA published the final revisions to its Payment Services Approach Document to reflect PSD2, the UK Payment Services Regulations 2017, and industry feedback.

Developments in PSD2 implementation in Italy: On 15 September 2017, the Italian Government approved, on a preliminary basis, a draft decree implementing PSD2 and the Interchange Fee Regulation and published an accompanying explanatory memorandum.

To view a PDF of the full Newsletter please click here. You can also follow us on Twitter at @HLPayments for regular news and updates.

Posted in Copyright Dr. Nils Rauer

German Federal Court rules on Google’s Image Search – Thumbnails III

On 21 September 2017, the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof – BGH) handed down a judgment of utmost importance for the exploitation of copyright on the Internet. It will become known and referred to under the name “Vorschaubilder III” (“Thumbnail III“). And, it is already to be anticipated that it will leave both experts and industry divided. From the perspective of an objective observer, the judges have done nothing but express their view on how the most recent jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of European Union (CJEU) is to be understood and applied at national level. Still, there are aspects in the judgment that will trigger debate.

So far, only the press release has been published, but the core of the judges’ reasoning can already be understood from the press release – even though some details remain unclear and vague (BGH, Case Ref.: I ZR 11/16 – Thumbnails III).


The defendant is the operator of a website (AOL), on which image searches can be run by way of specific search terms being entered by the user. It is based on a search engine operator’s image search services, more precisely, on the Google Image Search. In the list of results produced by the website, small images are displayed to the user, the so-called “previews” or “thumbnails“.

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Posted in Copyright

“The Connected World”: Intellectual Value Event – London

Please join us on 17 October when we will be hosting our annual Intellectual Value seminar – this year focusing on ‘The Connected World’ and a variety of topics from across the Internet of Things.

From factories to offices, vehicles to homes, smart technologies are transforming every aspect of our society – and they’re here to stay. Businesses need to position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that increased connectivity creates, and particularly those concerning the underlying data it generates. Knowing how to do so, what the limits are, and where opportunities lie is the key to success.

Topics and themes:

  • Complying with the GDPR in a connected world
  • Wearable technology – securing the right kind of IP protection
  • What is the Digital Single Market and what does it mean for your business?
  • 10 steps to cybersecurity – protecting yourself in a connected world
  • Drones – is the sky the limit? A look at what restricts or encourages commercial use

We look forward to seeing you there. To register your interest in our event please contact Tom Goddard

Date: 17 October 2017

Venue: Hogan Lovells, Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FG Map

Time: 09:00 Registration, 09:30 Seminar, 12:00 Lunch

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanWesley Platt

New Study Highlights Spike in TCPA Litigation Since 2015 FCC Decision

A new study has found that litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) has increased 50 percent since the Federal Communications Commission released its July 2015 “Omnibus” Declaratory Ruling and Order, which had purported to clarify several issues around the agency’s TCPA rules.  As explained below, this continuing trend is one of many reasons that Congress and the FCC should revisit the TCPA framework and provide reasonable, practical compliance approaches for good-faith callers.

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Posted in Defamation

UK Defamation: when words seriously harm

Evidencing in court that a defamatory statement has caused harm to your reputation can be notoriously difficult. The courts in the UK have therefore traditionally proceeded on the basis that, where a statement is proven to be defamatory, harm is presumed, unless the defendant can prove otherwise. This approach was brought into doubt by the Defamation Act 2013 (the “Act”), which requires that the harm caused by defamation must be “serious” before it is actionable.  Does this mean the claimant must now prove that serious harm has been caused in every case?

In Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1334, the Court of Appeal has reversed an earlier decision of the High Court and confirmed that following the Act there is still a presumption of harm in defamation cases. However, there is no presumption that “serious” harm has been caused, which would need to be proven by the claimant.

The case concerned a series of articles published by the Huffington Post, The Independent and The Evening Standard in 2014 that suggested Bruno Lachaux, a French aerospace engineer, was guilty of domestic violence, child abduction and manipulating the Emirati legal system to deprive his former partner of access to their child, Louis.

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Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, TMT2020 Tony Lin

Smallsat companies form trade association to address issues facing the smallsat community

At the annual Smallsat conference in Logan, Utah, the Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association (CSSMA) held its first meeting since legally forming earlier this month. A number of well-known smallsat operators and other companies have joined the organization, which seeks to advance a number of goals common to the smallsat community. These goals include creating conditions for a transparent and expedited spectrum coordination process for shared spectrum and advocating CSSMA views on spectrum management and other policy matters affecting the smallsat community.

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Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy

Former FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez Joins Hogan Lovells Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice

Hogan Lovells has announced that Edith Ramirez, the former Chairwoman of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has joined the firm as a partner and will play an active role in Hogan Lovells’ Privacy and Cybersecurity practice. She will also co-head the firm’s Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation (ACER) practice.

Ramirez will co-lead the global antitrust practice alongside Suyong Kim who is based in London. Ramirez will be based in Washington, DC and Los Angeles.

Ramirez joined the FTC as a Commissioner in April 2010 and served as FTC Chairwoman from March 2013 to January 2017.

“Having completed a very successful tenure as Commissioner and then as Chairwoman of the FTC, Edith will be a valuable and strategic resource for our clients,” said Steve Immelt, CEO of Hogan Lovells. “We are delighted to have such a preeminent expert join the firm.”

“Edith has been a strong presence in the international competition and privacy arena,” said Suyong Kim, ACER co-head. “Her exceptional experience in policy and enforcement in the areas of antitrust and privacy will marry well with our world class global teams in both areas.”

At the FTC, Ramirez focused on promoting competition, particularly in the technology and healthcare sectors, safeguarding consumer privacy and data security, and protecting vulnerable communities from deceptive and unfair practices.

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Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Alastair ShawPenny ThorntonDr. Nils Rauer

DSM Watch: Compliance deadlines for EU online Portability Regulation pushed back

In our 18 July blog we reported the then recently published key dates for compliance with the EU online Portability Regulation.   Following a correction published in the EU Official journal on 28 July 2017, those deadlines have been pushed back by just under two weeks.   A revised version of our blog post is below, with the new deadlines added.


In our 21 June blog we reported that the text of this, the first legislative proposal published by the Commission under the Digital Single Market strategy banner, had been finalised by the European Parliament and Council.  The Regulation on ensuring the cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market ((EU) 2017/1128), to give it its formal title, has now been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (on 30 June 2017).  That means the key dates for businesses providing portable online content services are now known.

These are:-

1 April 2018 (previously 20 March 2018): Regulation becomes applicable, with direct legal effect in all EU Member States.

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Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology

Cutting Edge Tech Issues: Hogan Lovells collaborates with Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship

On 26 June 2017, Hogan Lovells and Professor Phil Weiser (of the University of Colorado’s Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship) ran a client seminar on cutting edge issues in tech policy. Michele Farquhar, Peter Watts, Angus Coulter and Alice Wallace-Wright facilitated a lively debate covering US and EU perspectives on:

  • lessons from the US spectrum incentive auction;
  • the future of spectrum policy – addressing the competing policy aims of incentivising investment and facilitating new entry, the ongoing debate on how spectrum will be addressed in the proposed European Electronic Communications Code;
  • network neutrality – the current FCC debate and regulatory design on both sides of the Atlantic;
  • the competitive effects of consolidation in the media and tech industries; and
  • ‘entrepreneurial leadership’ in government – what benefits can be reaped from a more imaginative approach to administration.

The Silicon Flatirons-Hogan Lovells collaboration continued at the International Spectrum Workshop in Paris on 28 June 2017.  Hogan Lovells partners Michele Farquhar and Winston Maxwell joined leaders from across the globe in academia, government, industry, and civil society to discuss aspects of wireless spectrum management, including:

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