EU: Ground-breaking European Court decision – US Safe Harbor declared invalid

On 6 October 2015, in a ground-breaking Decision, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared the US Safe Harbor scheme to be invalid, as well as confirming that individuals have the right to challenge any similar schemes that may be established by the European Commission through their national data protection authorities.

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UK: Ofcom reviews the TV programme production sector

By Chris Wall

Following Ofcom’s third review of public service broadcasting earlier this year, the Secretary of State has asked Ofcom to carry out a review of the operation of the television programme production sector.

Ofcom reports that television programme production generates annual revenues of roughly £3 billion and an increase in the consolidation of independent production and the acquisition of major UK producers by international media corporations (e.g. Bertelsmann / FremantleMedia, Liberty Global / All3Media) has led to reduced certainty for public service broadcasters as to the future of the production supply market.

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ITALY – Pisa Internet Festival – the Future of Copyright

News from the Pisa Internet Festival. Copyright, Data Protection, Internet of Things, ICT and artificial intelligence… are joining together in Pisa this week-end. Read the rest of this entry »

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HUB FOCUS: Legal issues in film production transactions in Hungary

Our global Media, Sport & Entertainment Hub provides insights into various legal and commercial issues impacting on this space.

As part of our “HUB FOCUS” series, we provide an extract, focusing on some of the legal issues arising in Hungarian film production transactions.

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UK: New consumer laws on digital content now in force!

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015 which, among other things, gives consumers new legal rights to a repair or replacement when digital content (such as an online music download, e-book, game or digital copy of a film) is faulty.

The Act also clarifies the law around refunds, creating a specific timeframe of 30 days for consumers to reject a faulty item and receive a full refund.

This is the first time consumers have had clear legal rights for digital content. The updated law comes as shoppers are increasingly spending money on digital products. Statistics reveal that in 2014, over £2.8 billion was spent on downloaded music, games and videos, an 18% increase from 2013.

Business Minister Nick Boles states, “whether it’s downloading music or buying a fridge freezer, the Consumer Rights Act makes it easier to understand your rights. UK consumers spend £90 billion a month and it is important they are able to shop with confidence. These changes will also simplify the law for businesses so they can spend less time worrying about unclear and unwieldy regulations.

To review the new legislation in full, please click here.

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Digital Single Market Strategy: Summary of Conclusions!

Chaired by Nick Fitzpatrick

Presenters were Giangiacomo Olivi, Patrick Mitchell, John Cloke and Michelle Boles

This is a very exciting time for those passionate about media regulations. For those who could not attend our webinar on the “Digital Single Market”, we summarise the main conclusions:

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Special session – Digital Single Market

Wednesday 30 September 2015

3.00 – 4.00 pm BST

As the Commission rolls out inquiries, consultations and legislative proposals in support of its strategy on the Digital Single Market, we provide an insight into what is happening and how it all inter-relates.

It’s simple: the webinars are free and delivered to your desk. You can access the slides on your PC and access the audio presentation by Freephone number. There will be an opportunity at the end of each session to ask questions.

This webinar may attract continuing legal education points, CPD or CLE, depending on the rules in your jurisdiction.

Best regards, Nick Fitzpatrick

Global Co-Chair, Media, Sport and Entertainment

Please click here to register

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UK: Inquiry into online platforms in the EU Digital Single Market launched

The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has launched an inquiry into the adequacy of regulation of ‘online platforms’ in the EU Digital Single Market.

This inquiry comes at a time when online platforms are taking an ever more central role in business and e-commerce, and has been prompted by the European Commission’s (the “Commission“) Digital Single Market Strategy which, among other things, focuses on the role and influence of online platforms  in online markets. As the Commission states in its Digital Single Market Strategy communication, “…some platforms can control access to online markets and can exercise significant influence over how various players in the market are remunerated“. The Commission questions whether updated regulation is needed to monitor certain online platforms’ growing market power and the inquiry contributes to this debate.

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EU: Getting foggy in the Safe Harbor – Privacy agreement between EU and US at stake?

By Patrick Van Eecke & Loretta Marshall

Today an important statement was issued endangering the free flow of personal data from the European Union to the United States. Advocate General Bot issued his opinion to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the Facebook case on whether or not a national supervisory authority has the right to prohibit transfers of personal data to the United States, even if the recipient is Safe Harbor certified. Safe Harbor is a framework, endorsed by the European Commission fifteen years ago, allowing for the transfer of personal data from the EU to undertakings in the US that adhere to its principles. The Advocate General also advises the CJEU to declare the Safe Harbor scheme invalid. If followed by the judges, this opinion may cause global organisations to rethink their cross-border data transfers.

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UK: The future looks set for a wireless world – OFCOM consultation on the Internet of Things


In a bid to grow connections and boost investment and innovation in the ‘internet of things’, the UK communications regulator – Ofcom- has launched a consultation regarding the potential allocation of existing VHF spectrum to the “Internet of Things” community.

Internet of Things

As a reminder, the “Internet of Things” is a network of ‘smart’ objects or ‘things’ which are embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity, meaning they can interconnect and share data with each another via “machine-to-machine” communications. It enables these things to be controlled remotely across a prevailing network infrastructure.

Already in the UK, more than 40 million devices are connected via the Internet of Things. Ofcom predicts that this will grow eight-fold by 2022 so that hundreds of millions of devices will carry out over a billion daily data transactions.

Benefits of 10MHZ VHF spectrum

Ofcom suggests that using the high frequency 10MHZ VHF spectrum would be beneficial for making wireless connections over long distances in the UK. The regulator indicates that these frequencies will allow machine-to-machine applications to communicate wirelessly over longer distances and in more remote locations than is already in use by the Internet of Things community.

Next steps

The Ofcom consultation is due to close on 12 November 2015. The regulator plans to publish a statement before the end of the year. Please find the consultation paper here.

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