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Under Resolution 432/2011 the federal regulator of communication services (AFSCA) has approved the bid conditions for the granting of licences for individuals and corporate entities for the installation and exploitation of audiovisual services by subscription through a physical link or satellite. It may be advisable to review the resolution and its contents before purchasing the bid conditions.
The National Lottery State-Owned Corporation recently enacted Resolution 17/11 on games of chance, for the organisation of contents, drawings and competitions. The resolution introduces new requirements for granting the annual authorisation, approval and accounting and closure of the promotions. Enterprises that have annual authorisations will be provided with a 30-day period to regularise their situation.
The Federal Court recently ruled in the first civil penalties case under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth). 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd, broadcaster of the John Laws Morning Show, was ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty of A$360,000, calculated as penalties of varying amounts in respect of 13 breaches of the Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Current Affairs Disclosure) Standard 2000.
A recent decision of the High Court of Australia in IceTV Pty Ltd v Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd has limited the protection of copyright in compilations and databases in Australia. This decision will have a significant impact on businesses that publish information of a generic nature. Other businesses may now be able to use such information without licence and without fear of copyright infringement.
In the early 1980s actions were brought against newspaper publishers and television broadcasters under Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act alleging misleading or deceptive news stories. This led to new Section 65A, which provided a statutory exemption for "prescribed information providers". A recent High Court decision appears to narrow significantly the scope and availability of the publisher's defence.
Freedom of information (FOI) laws provide an important means of access to government information for journalists, film makers and the public. The government has announced major changes to FOI legislation and procedures which it says will "promote a new system and culture of pro-disclosure for government information".
'Complex' is the word used by many producers to describe official international co-productions. However, with the ability to gain access to finance and incentives in Australia (including the producer offset) and other countries, official international co-productions are becoming more attractive in this difficult time of obtaining finance, and tackling the associated complexities has become even more worthwhile.
A number of Australian film and television distributors have taken legal action against the internet service provider (ISP) iiNet, the third-largest ISP in Australia after Telstra and Optus. The distributors are suing iiNet for its failure to stop customers illegally downloading a number of their film and television programmes over the iiNet network.
An amendment to the Media Act was recently introduced that extended the duties of disclosure for website and newsletter providers. The extended duties will apply to all media belonging to owners based in Austria. The amendment aims to ensure "complete transparency", but it is more likely to have the opposite effect, with information overload causing issues for affected media owners.
The Supreme Court has held that offences committed online, such as libel in online publications, are 'press offences' for the purposes of Belgian law. The main effect of these decisions is that most online press offences will no longer be criminally prosecuted. Moreover, publishers of online publications are likely to benefit from a more favourable liability regime in both criminal and civil cases.
The Belgian 'right to reply' law for printed publications does not set libel or other damage as a criterion - the mere fact of being mentioned is sufficient. This has led to attempts at forum shopping, as in the case of a French citizen who had been the subject of a report in The Sunday Times and sought a remedy before the Brussels Court of First Instance.
The Council for Journalism has issued its first decision on the media's use of pictures uploaded on Facebook, ruling on a local newspaper's reporting of the accidental death of a young woman. The decision suggests that the council's threshold for determining when someone is considered a public person is relatively low, calling into question its own guidelines on obtaining consent from victims and their families.
The Court of Ghent has allowed moral and material damages in respect of two radio commercials which it found had infringed copyright in Bruce Springsteen's song "Fire". Among other things, the court noted that the defendants had acted in bad faith and had decided to launch the advertising campaign in spite of a refusal to grant authorisation.
A new act has amended the statutory provisions of the Copyright Act 1994 on the status and supervision of collecting societies in Belgium. The act breaks new ground in that it aims at greater transparency in the activities of collecting societies, particularly in their financial operations, as well as the objective and efficient distribution of fees.
Since the start of 2010 the Flemish Regulator for the Media has fined three broadcasters for non-compliance with product placement regulations, demonstrating its determination to take action against infringers. In a recent decision, an item on a talkshow featuring tennis player Yanina Wickmayer was deemed to have encouraged viewers to purchase products from lingerie brand Marie Jo Intense.
The Federal Court of Canada has erected a substantial roadblock to the efforts of the Canadian recording industry to curtail the unauthorized sharing of audio recordings over the Internet (BMG Canada Inc v John Doe). The court declined to order some of Canada's largest internet service providers (ISPs) to disclose the identities of select ISP customers.
The UK government has launched a review of international film co-production treaties. The announcement of the review coincides with the release by its Department for Culture, Media and Sport of the updated Guidelines on Film Co-production. Among the changes to the guidelines is an increase in the minimum expenditure requirement for Canada/UK feature film co-productions.
The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) has approved a new independent production agreement. The agreement was negotiated with the Canadian Film and Television Production Association and the Association des Producteurs de Film et de Télévision de Québec, and governs the employment of ACTRA members with respect to independent film and television.
The first budget of the new Québec government has reduced government subsidies and tax benefits for most Québec-based industries, including the film and television industry. The proposed changes, which are outlined by Finances Québec in the 2003-2004 Budget - "Additional Information on the Fiscal Measures", will modify various film and television-related tax credits in Québec.
A report on Canadian English-language drama prepared for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and Telefilm Canada addresses the state of English Canadian television drama and offers a number of recommendations that are designed to encourage the growth of Canadian audiences for homegrown drama.
Canadian Finance Minister John Manley has tabled the federal Budget in the Canadian House of Commons, announcing changes to the film or video production services tax credit and the Canadian Television Fund (CTF). For those who rely on CTF financing for domestic production, the Budget will give cause for concern.
The handing over of paintings for scrapping is not an assignment of ownership or copyright in the works. A new Supreme Court judgment establishes that such abandonment does not imply a right to sell the paintings. This judgment strengthens the protection of artists' works and illustrates a central element of copyright - namely, the scope of the protection of such works.
The dispute between film company Zentropa and writer Peter Øvig Knudsen has received wide media coverage and raises the question of whether making a close screen adaptation of a historically based book without obtaining permission from the author constitutes copyright infringement.
An increasing number of films are being made in the Dominican Republic. The lower costs and other economic advantages of operating in the country all contribute to the substantial growth of the film industry. These advantages, combined with the financial incentives set out in the recently adopted Film Industry Law, are making the Dominican Republic an important destination for producers to consider.
The European Parliament has voted to extend the copyright protection term for sound recordings from 50 years to 70 years. The extension would take into account the fact that performers are increasingly outliving the existing 50-year period of protection for their recordings, and would ensure that they can rely on their rights to prevent the occurrence of objectionable uses of their performances during their lifetime.
The working group on the reform of the Lotteries Act set up by the Ministry of the Interior has issued its final report. Among other things, the report proposes that the current formal licence system should be changed to an exclusive system and that a new authority, the Central Bureau of the Finnish Police, be established. The new Lotteries Act is intended to enter into force on January 1 2012.
The Finnish News Agency has filed a complaint to the European Commission requesting that the commission examine whether the Finnish Broadcasting Company is infringing state aid regulations by displaying its own free-of-charge news service alongside paid advertisements on billboards in shopping centres in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
The European Court of Justice has rendered a preliminary ruling on the protection of personal tax data and the freedom of the press. It held that if personal data is contained in documents in the public domain and is processed with the sole object of disclosing information, opinions or ideas to the public, such processing is to be considered "solely for journalistic purposes".
The Council of Ethical Advertising recently issued a statement allowing the Finnish mobile phone and internet service provider DNA to use an advertisement featuring an older man - dressed as a boy scout - in the company of women dressed as girl scouts. The council had been asked to rule on the advertisement in response to claims that it included references to paedophilia.
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court ruled that an ice-fishing competition was to be considered a lottery in accordance with the Lotteries Act. The main issue at stake was whether the winning of a prize in the competition was completely or partially based on chance, as Section 2 of the act requires from a lottery.
Government Bill 32/2008 concerning implementation of the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive was passed by the Finnish government in June. The implementation required amendments mainly to Chapter 2 of the Consumer Protection Act concerning marketing to consumers. The revised provisions entered into force on October 1 2008.
Over the past 20 years, relations between phonogram producers and musicians in France have been strained by a conflict between producers and SPEDIDAM, the society for the collective management of musicians' rights, which claims the right to authorise any new exploitation of a phonogram. Two judgments issued this year herald significant developments in this relationship.
The Finance Act 2013 and the 2012 supplementary budget have introduced improved tax credit rules in the film and audiovisual sector. The tax credit for music production has also been modified and extended. These changes will enter into force at a date to be fixed by decree, but no later than January 1 2014.
It is vital to demonstrate ownership of rights in infringement actions. In a recent case two companies sued competitors which were reproducing and distributing without their permission a boxset of jazz and music hall phonograph recordings, which the claimants believed they held the sole right to reproduce under the Intellectual Property Code.
French law provides that a contracting party must comply with a notice period to terminate, even partially, an established business relationship. The application of this principle to the relationship between a producer and a broadcaster has led to much litigation. The Supreme Court recently issued its ruling in a long-running case on this issue.
The development of cloud computing poses a number of questions for lawyers, especially with regard to the categorisation of the rights at stake (reproduction and/or performance) and the application of the private copying exception. The Superior Council of Literary and Artistic Property has brought together professionals from the arts and industry to take part in a debate on this issue.
The Court of Cassation has held that a 'stay-down' injunction is invalid in relation to content that has been notified as infringing; however, the court recognised the right to order a search engine to implement preventive measures. Its findings are significant for holders of rights in music and audiovisual works when seeking to prevent copyright infringement online.
A decision by the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court on the liability of web hosting providers under German copyright law has disappointed many - not least the film distributor that had sought to prevent the reproduction and dissemination of illegal copies of its film. The court failed to consider a combination of effective and feasible measures to reconcile the interests of copyright owners and hosting providers.
The tax authorities are increasingly taking the position that financial contributions by co-producers in film productions are subject to value added tax (VAT) at a rate of 7%, where these co-productions are undisclosed partnerships. Companies would thus be well advised to consider VAT on such financial co-production contributions when calculating film budgets.
Following the expiry of the separate tariffs for music downloads and streaming, the German music rights organization GEMA established a new royalty scheme to cover both forms of use. The new tariff was challenged as part of a collective agreement proceeding initiated by the German trade association BITKOM, and the Copyright Arbitration Board has now submitted a proposal to settle the dispute.
Generally feature films made in Germany and international co-productions involving German companies receive state funding of between 25% and 50% of the production costs or the costs incurred by German entities. Thus, state funding is central to the financing of film productions which involve German entities. Recent legislative changes have affected the way in which this funding is distributed among film producers.
The Superior Civil Court has rendered a decision on a dispute between a German resident and the author of an article which appeared in the New York Times, as well as the newspaper's publisher. With this ruling, the court has further protected German individuals whose personal rights have been infringed by an article that has been published online from the need to seek damages in a foreign country.
For broadcasting and non-linear content which is disseminated by electronic means - especially the Internet - the Treaty on Protection of Minors in the Media provides for a joint regulatory framework agreed between the federal states and implemented in local legislation. The treaty has recently been reviewed and an agreed draft is likely to be accepted by the legislatures in the respective federal states.
A dispute arose between two major razor-blade manufacturers regarding a BIC advertising campaign which extensively used the Greek flag and inferred that BIC was a Greek company. Gillette took legal action against BIC based on unfair competition clauses, arguing that the campaign was misleading. However, the Athens Court of First Instance concluded that the advertising campaign was legitimate.
It is widely felt that the quality of service on FM radio is inferior; therefore, digital audio broadcasting, which offers a better quality of service, has started to make headway in the radio broadcasting sphere. At present in India, only the satellite form of digital audio broadcasting is available. In order to regulate the industry, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued the Draft Policy Guidelines for Satellite Radio Service.
Following a Supreme Court ruling that airwaves and frequencies are public property and so must be controlled and regulated by a public authority in order to promote the public interest, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has published the draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill.
The government has revised its foreign direct investment policy in relation to the uplinking of television channels. Previously, the general policy was to permit foreign direct investment of up to 49% in an Indian joint venture company for setting up hardware, uplinking hubs or teleports.
After laying down the necessary framework for uplinking by Indian television channels, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has further notified new, stricter guidelines for downlinking by foreign channels with a view to gaining control over the content being broadcasted from satellite television channels uplinked outside India.
The government has made changes regarding uniform direct investment across various media platforms. For example, in print media the government has allowed 100% foreign direct investment for full editions of foreign newspapers and periodicals printed in India. These editions will not have access to Indian advertising revenue streams.
A committee of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has examined proposals to allow foreign direct investment in the private FM radio sector. Although it recommended that such investment be allowed, it set out guidelines to ensure that Indian shareholders maintain overall control of the equity.
A regulation from the Ministry of Communications and Information has established a framework for the provision of Internet Protocol television services in response to greater media and communications convergence and the readiness of Indonesian technology providers to enter the sector. The regulation provides eligibility criteria for providers and sets out the licence application process.
In recent years economic pressure on the entertainment industry has led companies to seek to broaden the scope of their business. Record labels, tour promoters and other entertainment companies are increasingly negotiating '360-degree' deals with artists, extending their scope for deriving profit beyond the markets in which they traditionally operate.
The rapid growth of new technology and the ease of digital copying and distribution present challenges for media lawyers seeking properly to document the exploitation arrangements for media assets. When confronted with a broad reference to a generic medium, such as 'television' or 'home video', lawyers must ensure that the contractual arrangements correctly reflect the parties' intentions.
The Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment recently published the report of the Advisory Group on Media Mergers. The department has indicated that legislation to reform aspects of competition law is to be enacted in 2009, but the extent to which the Advisory Group's recommendations are to be followed remains to be seen.
The minister for finance has signed a commencement order introducing changes to Section 481 of the Finance Act 2008 regarding relief for investment in film projects. This follows the European Commission's state aid approval of the amendments during the preceding week. The effect of the change is to increase the maximum amount of Section 481 funding that a project can avail of from €35 million to €50 million.
In a recent case the Supreme Court has demonstrated that it is prepared to allow libel actions to proceed notwithstanding considerable delays in their prosecution. However, this appears to depend upon a number of factors, most notably on how the defendant has pleaded in the proceedings.
Ireland’s film and television industry has received an early Christmas present with the announcement of significant enhancements to the Section 481 relief for investment in film and television projects. The net effect of the changes is expected to be a large increase in the producer’s 'net benefit' available to each Section 481 project.
The Defamation Bill 2006 will modernize defamation law and looks certain to become law in early 2009. The media have been urging a reform of defamation law for over a decade. There is consensus that defamation law is both antiquated and unfairly pro-plaintiff. While the core principles of defamation law remain intact, the bill contains a large number of notable innovations.
Regulation of the printed press in Ireland has an uneven history. For many years, there has been a consensus that regulation is desirable, but much less consensus on the form that regulation should take. Proposals for a government-appointed Press Council met with hostility from the industry, which had established a Press Industry Steering Committee in 2003 to “agree a model for self-regulation”.
The Isle of Man government has acquired a substantial shareholding in a UK film studio. It has invested more than £12 million in return for a shareholding of just under 10% in Pinewood Shepperton, famous for film productions such as the James Bond series. In recent times, the Isle of Man has established a reputation in the film industry, resulting in some 100 film and television projects investments since 1995.
A public consultation on the scheme of the new regulation for the allocation of available digital terrestrial television (DTT) frequencies recently closed. Once the European Commission approves the regulation, the Ministry of Economic Development will launch an auction for six DTT multiplexes. However, the upcoming general election could trigger some delay.
The Court of Milan has referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling in connection with technological protection measures applied to video game consoles. The ECJ referral follows a dispute between Nintendo and PCBox Srl, which produces and markets devices aimed at bypassing the technological protection measures applied to Nintendo's consoles.
On-demand streaming of audiovisual content has raised several questions regarding proper compensation due to authors, producers and performers. Among these questions are how to apply both the term 'communication to the public' under the Copyright Law and the private copy exemption to streamed content, and how cloud services fit in with current regulations and guidelines.
In statements to Parliament, the former chairman of the Communications Authority has stressed that stakeholder agreements are crucial in making non-infringing media content available online. Commenting on the position of the content industry in regard to so-called 'over-the-top' operators, he cited an initiative by a group of Italian publishers to create a multi-device platform for the purchase of digital publications.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has issued a preliminary ruling on the compatibility of Italy's legal framework for gaming with the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services. Although the short-term impact on the industry may be limited, in the long term the State Monopolies Authority will be forced to adapt the framework to the principles indicated by the ECJ.
In January 2012 the grounding of the cruise ship Costa Concordia attracted intense media interest in Italy and abroad. Several issues have arisen in connection with a documentary that includes footage filmed by those onboard and a recording of a telephone call between the captain and the coastguard. Moreover, the incident is the subject of a criminal investigation and legal actions by many of the survivors.
The Supreme Court has upheld an IP High Court decision that rejected the right of publicity asserted by the plaintiffs - the pop duo Pink Lady - against the publishers of a magazine article which discussed a weight-loss method using dance routines to the duo's songs. In so doing, the Supreme Court offered guidelines on when an individual's right of publicity may be deemed to be infringed.
The Appeal Court of Arnhem recently sentenced an individual to 12 months' imprisonment, nine months of which were to be unconditional, for tax fraud and the illegal delivery of background music to cafés and restaurants. The judgment is interesting because in the Netherlands the enforcement of IP rights is primarily the responsibility of the rights holders themselves.
By tolerating illegal downloads, the Netherlands was the odd one out in Europe. It seemed that the District Court of The Hague's June 2008 ruling in ACI Adam BV cs v Stichting De Thuiskopie cs would bring about change. In contrast to the official view of the minister of justice, the court clearly stated that it qualified downloading from illegal online sources for private use as illegal.
A recent judgment of the Haarlem District Court has received widespread attention in the world of music collecting societies. In a surprising move, the court granted an injunction to the Performing Right Society with the effect that the defendant, the Dutch composers society Buma, may not grant multi-territory licences to music users for internet, cable and satellite use.
The BREIN Foundation, an anti-piracy organization, sought an injunction against the hosting provider of a file-sharing website which distributed films, music, computer games, software and e-books without the rights holders’ permission. The hosting provider refused to block the website or disclose details of the website's owner. The Amsterdam Court of Appeal held that withholding such details was an unlawful act.
A recent judgment of the District Court of The Hague has reopened the discussion in the Netherlands about the infringing nature of downloading illegal content. The court ruled that the downloading of illegal content is itself an act of infringement because it is contrary to the reasonable interests and normal exploitation of the rights owners.
The government has recently enacted legislation to address a number of IP issues in connection with major events. Among other things, the Major Events Management Act is intended to reduce ambush marketing at the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and the Cricket World Cup in 2015.
The review of the Copyright Act 1994 and its application in the digital environment is continuing. One proposed change which has generated controversy will clarify the extent to which digital material is to be made available for libraries, archives and educational uses, but exceptions are proposed for the 'format-shifting' of sound recordings and the decompilation of software.
The Supreme Court has issued its verdict in a case against the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) concerning the broadcast of a nudity scene from the film Brent av frost. As well as finding that it was doubtful whether NRK had acted in line with good practice, the court defined the limits between freedom of speech, copyright law and the right to quote from a published work.
The Supreme Court has upheld a claim filed by The Arctic Challenge and its main owner Terje Haakonsen against Tromsø 2018 AS for its use of a photograph of snowboarder Andy Finch in connection with Tromsø 2018's application to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Tromsø 2018 must now pay Nkr80,000 in compensation and full costs of Nkr890,000.
Minister of Cultural Affairs Trond Giske has announced that Norway has acceded to the 1992 European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production. Norwegian producers now have access to other member countries' support systems and the convention will open up a much larger labour market for Norwegian film workers at all levels.
In an attempt to boost the Norwegian film industry, the government has introduced a scheme in which a percentage of film production costs incurred in Norway are rebated. It also plans to join the European Convention on Cinematographic and Television Co-production once the rebate scheme is in operation.
The Ministry of Cultural and Religious Affairs recently lodged a consultation document asking for comments on a proposed set of terms and conditions for a digital terrestrial transmission network in Norway. The consultation will be followed by an invitation to tender for, initially, one licence to establish and operate a digital terrestrial transmission network.
In one of its last decisions before the lapse of the Competition Ordinance 2009, the Competition Commission passed an order against Procter and Gamble Pakistan for violating Section 10 of the ordinance, which prohibits deceptive marketing practices. Among other things, it ordered the company to refrain from using the phrase '100% dandruff free' in advertisements for its Head & Shoulders brand shampoo.
Portugal's legal framework for games of chance came under scrutiny in 2009 as a result of a dispute involving the state-controlled lottery organizer, the Portuguese Professional Football League and gaming company Bwin International, which became the league's sponsor in 2005. Although the dispute arose over sports betting, the European Court of Justice's ruling on online gaming may have wider implications.
The European Court of Human Rights has issued its judgment in a case involving the penalties imposed on a Portuguese journalist in connection with his interview with a senior football official. The appeal by the journalist and his television channel under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights prompted an examination of the freedom of expression, the role of the press and the rights of public figures.
Recently, the Advertising Law was promulgated, setting out new requirements in relation to the control and placement of advertisements. A violation of certain provisions of the Advertising Law may be subject to a fine of up to QR20,000. Furthermore, a court may also order the removal of the advertisement and require the restoration of the property on which the advertisement was placed at the expense of the violator.
Russia has a well-established legal framework for advertising and promotion. The general 'truth in advertising' requirements are straightforward and compliance is simple. However, the regulations for contests and sweepstakes are strict and present more of a challenge for both Russian and foreign companies.
The Media Development Authority has warned Singapore's two main pay-television operators about exclusive arrangements - all pay-television licensees are required to cross-carry each other's content. StarHub and SingTel were suspected of having entered into last-minute exclusive deals before the requirement was introduced, but insufficient evidence was found to bring a formal action.
Two Supreme Court of Appeal decisions illustrate the development of the law of personality in South Africa in a way which appears to be in keeping with the increased need to protect individuals from the often oppressive reach of the media in a society where publication has become so simple that vast amounts of information are published with little thought for the impact this may have on individuals.
South Africa is proving to be an attractive destination in which to host international sporting events and film movies. Indian Premier League players and actors Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, involved in the filming of a 1995 rugby world cup movie, have all recently visited South Africa. The South African Revenue Service is probably as interested as the fans to see who arrives next at the airport.
Legislation has recently been passed to the effect that a withholding tax will be introduced on amounts payable to sportspersons. In particular, a withholding tax of 15% will be levied on all amounts received by or accruing to a sportsperson. The legislation will come into force on a date to be fixed in the Official Gazette.
The Constitutional Court has declared that hidden camera documentaries contravene the Constitution by breaching the right to personal privacy and one's own image. Despite this type of documentary being aired for many years in Spain, this is the first time that the Constitutional Court has had the chance to analyse the legal dilemmas surrounding this controversial method of journalism.
The Court of Appeal has increased the amount of damages to be paid by the four men behind the Pirate Bay – who had previously been found guilty of contributory copyright infringement – but lowered their jail sentences from one year to four, eight and 10 months respectively. The fourth defendant was absent due to illness and will have his sentence reconsidered at a later date.
The Supreme Court has asked the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling in a case concerning an order to provide information pursuant to the Swedish Copyright Act. The request concerns whether the EU Data Retention Directive prevents an internet service provider from being ordered to reveal to a rights holder the identity of a subscriber suspected of infringing IP rights.
Since the EU IP Enforcement Directive was transposed into Sweden law through the implementation of the Copyright Act in 2009, three cases have arisen dealing with the act's key provision on the potential right for IP rights holders to obtain information regarding the origin of infringing goods and services and the networks through which they are distributed.
In a preliminary ruling the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that EU law is not an obstacle for the prohibition in Swedish law of the promotion of gambling organised by private operators in other member states. However, the ECJ also held that the sanctions for the promotion of foreign operators cannot be stricter than those for the promotion national operators that are operating without a licence.
The Svea Court of Appeal recently reversed a district court's decision in the first Swedish case involving the EU IP Rights Enforcement Directive. The appeal court held that internet service provider ePhone should not be required to hand over user information requested by five book publishers.
On the day that the Swedish law on the EU Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive entered into force, five publishers applied to receive information from ePhone - an internet service provider - regarding the identity of an individual behind an internet protocol address that they suspected was being used to distribute audiobooks illegally. A district court has found in the publishers' favour.
The Federal Supreme Court recently published three decisions on the making available of encrypted pay television broadcasts. The court held that the sale of devices facilitating this did not constitute retransmission under Swiss law, since the protected content was streamed directly between the broadcasters and end users, and the merchants' involvement consisted merely of making available the decryption codes.
The Supreme Court recently dealt with the civil liability for blog posts on a newspaper's website whose content infringed the personality rights of a third party. The infringed party initiated proceedings against the blog author and the newspaper. The newspaper appealed, arguing that it should not be held liable for the infringing acts of the blog's author. The court rejected the argument.
The Prosecutor's Office of the Canton of Zug recently discontinued the criminal investigation against the International Federation of Association Football and two of its employees concerning accusations of corruption. Requests from journalists to access the decision were approved, but addresses belonging to the affected individuals will remain anonymous.
Any person whose personality rights have been directly affected by a statement of fact made by the media is entitled to a right of reply. In practice, requests to publish a reply are often not expressly rejected, but the replies are published as letters to the editor or as corrections instead of formal replies. The Supreme Court recently rejected the view that the right of reply is lost whenever the content of the reply is published in a different form.
In a landmark ruling based on breach of substantive public policy, the Supreme Court has overruled a Court of Arbitration for Sport award which confirmed a decision of the International Federation of Association Football Disciplinary Committee. The decision had found a Brazilian football player and a Spanish football club guilty of breaching their obligations towards Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk.
With the 2012 Olympic Games just months away, it is worth examining the issue of ambush marketing and athletes' rights. Under Swiss law, the main instrument against ambush marketing is the Unfair Competition Act. In addition to the act and IP rights, basic legal instruments (eg, public concessions, property rights and contracts) have become important in the fight against ambush marketing.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) intends to introduce more competition into the converging television service market through the rezoning of digital cable television franchises and the introduction of tiered service packages. Existing operators have cautiously welcomed these policy-driven measures, but have requested further deregulation on price capping and on limitations on business expansion.
Three new commissioners have been inaugurated into the National Communications Commission. Among other things, the new commissoners are charged with setting policy regarding the digitalisation of cable broadband services and legislative barriers to governmental bodies investing in telecommunications companies.
The National Communications Commission has decided to amend the Regulations Governing the Third Generation (3G) Mobile Telecommunications Services, adding a requirement for those who supply channel programming over 3G networks to obtain approval or licences pursuant to the same regulatory requirements as other broadcasting services.
For some time government agencies and industry players have debated whether emerging mobile television services are subject to ex ante regulation. The National Communications Commission (NCC) has now carried out two consultations to solicit public opinion and the results should help the NCC to finalize its convergence policy for such emerging services.
The National Communications Commission recently announced a plan to select candidates for a handheld television trial, with four six-month trial licences to be issued. However, a number of potential participants are concerned that the plan fails to give a clear picture of the future of handheld television in Taiwan.
The Government Information Office and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications are implementing an ambitious broadcasting policy which aims to restructure the chaotic airwave environment, promote the sustainable development of the radio broadcast industry and provide for a smooth transition from analogue to digital technology.
A popular marketing method with Turkish advertisers is to launch a promotional campaign involving a prize draw. These campaigns aim to increase sales by offering consumers the chance to win a prize with every purchase. Such advertising campaigns are strictly scrutinized by the relevant regulatory authorities to ensure that they are not misleading or deceptive.
The Turkish Advertising Board is the governmental authority that tracks and controls advertising campaigns, ensuring that they are not contrary to consumer interests. In the last two years the board has been even stricter in clamping down on aggressive marketing campaigns.
The National Television and Broadcasting Council recently adopted a new resolution on broadcast licensing. Under the new regime, television and radio companies must obtain a licence to broadcast, rather than a licence for the use of broadcasting channels as previously. The revised framework also irons out legislative inconsistencies.
The new Law on Advertising puts an end to protracted debates between businesses involved in advertising activities and members of Parliament and government authorities. However, while a consensus on the majority of contentious issues has been reached, the law still contains several ambiguous provisions which create difficulties both for advertisers and regulatory authorities.
Parliament recently approved draft legislation which is intended to prevent censorship and penalize officials who violate the media's right to information. However, the draft faces strong opposition from the Ukrainian Association of Mass Media Workers, which is lobbying the president asking that he veto what it considers to be a populist and imperfect law.
Despite the best efforts of municipal authorities in cities such as Kiev, the outdoor advertising market in Ukraine requires a major legislative overhaul. If adopted in the near future, a new law which has been proposed should bring order to and establish a nationwide regulatory framework for this rapidly growing market.
Two draft laws on the amendment of the Law on Advertising were recently submitted to the Ukrainian Parliament. The first seeks to impose a blanket ban on the advertisement of tobacco products and alcoholic drinks, while the second aims to relax the rules governing the screening of commercials during films and television programmes.
The chairman of the State Committee on Information Policy, Television and Radio Broadcasting has voiced concerns over gross violations of advertising and broadcasting law. He alleges that too much airtime is given to advertisements, and accuses commercial TV companies of favouring excessively violent and indecent programmes.
Television is booming in the United Arab Emirates. The number of satellite, cable and free-to-air channels has grown several-fold over the past years. This update reviews the current regulatory framework in the United Arab Emirates and the Dubai Media City free zone and describes the early steps towards reform.
Celebrities may register domain names through the UAE Network Information Centre, as well as licensing the economic rights to their name, image and voice for use with certain brands and trademarks. This update considers how such actions impact on the individual's right to privacy under UAE law.
Following several months of consultation, the government has published draft legislation for the much-heralded tax reliefs for animation, high-end television and video games. Signs indicate that the tax reliefs should represent a major boost for the UK television, animation and games industries.
In an economic climate in which creative and artistic projects arguably face the greatest barriers to traditional forms of finance, many are now turning to the 'crowd' as an alternative source of funding. However, crowdfunding of media, technology and entertainment projects in the United Kingdom faces several legal and regulatory issues that should first be considered.
Her Majesty's Treasury has issued a consultation paper on proposed tax reliefs for the video game, animation and high-end television sectors. The proposals draw heavily on the structure of the existing film tax relief and are designed to address the fact that many productions are having to move overseas in order to be commercially viable, or in some cases are not being made at all.
A government consultation paper has proposed a number of changes to child licensing laws. Most of the changes will be welcome to sports event organisers and theatre, film and television producers, as they represent a long overdue overhaul of outdated legislation.
The issue of how - and how effectively - the law can be used to combat content piracy in the video games industry remains highly uncertain. Aggressively pursuing piracy can result in negative publicity and prove commercially counterproductive, so the industry itself must find new and inventive ways for consumers to access high-quality games and additional content.
The Court of Appeal's judgment on the latest instalment of the long-running dispute between footballer Wayne Rooney and his former management company highlights a number of fundamental issues that should be taken into account by both agencies and players when negotiating image rights arrangements.
The director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Prescription Drug Promotion recently indicated that long-awaited draft guidance on the promotion of medical products using the Internet and social media is forthcoming. However, some scepticism is warranted because the industry has been listening to the FDA's promises about forthcoming internet-related guidance for almost two decades.
Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez recently spoke to members of the advertising industry, urging them to provide "effective and meaningful privacy protection" to consumers with respect to online tracking. She said that consumers feel "unease" with online tracking, and that they are still awaiting "an effective and functioning do-not-track system".
The governor of Nevada has signed legislation that enables the state to enter into agreements with other states that legalise interstate online poker. The move follows a memorandum from the Department of Justice suggesting that it no longer believes that non-sports related online betting and wagering (eg, online poker) is prohibited by the Wire Act.
Iconic music entertainer Chubby Checker is suing Hewlett-Packard for trademark infringement based on a mobile app named "The Chubby Checker". The suit alleges that purchasers of the app had been misled into believing that Checker had endorsed the app and that the use of his name would confuse users who might reasonably conclude that the singer had some association with the app bearing his name.
A California court has granted the motion picture studios and producer behind The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey a temporary restraining order against Global Asylum, blocking the release of Age of the Hobbits. Asylum has a history of creating low-budget films with parodied titles of Hollywood blockbusters timed to coincide with the release of their major motion picture counterparts.
Almax SpA's new EyeSee Mannequin contains a camera incorporating facial recognition technology that allows retailers to record information about the individuals passing by their shop fronts. In the coming years and months retailers, regulators and lawyers alike will have to grapple with the legal implications of such technology in advertising and marketing.
According to the Regulations on Non-profit Community Radio and Open Television Services, the National Telecommunications Commission will oversee and control the provision of community radio and open television services, with jurisdiction to review periodically the content of programmes that are broadcast and issue its findings with respect to them.