E-Sport will finally be recognised as a sport in Poland

Rafał Burda and Wojciech Biegański

On 14 March 2017, the Council of Ministers adopted a draft law amending the Act of 25 June 2010 on Sport (accessible here). The draft is currently subject to its first reading in parliament. The draft introduces an extension to the existing definition of sport, supplementing the solely physical activity expressed thus far in the sports law with “competition based on intellectual activity aimed at achieving a sports result”. This extension is aimed at achieving two main goals: (i) to officially recognise sporting disciplines like checkers, chess or sports bridge as sports competitions; and (ii) to bring e-sport competitions under the jurisdiction of sports law, due to the fact that such intellectual activity is widely regarded as having similar social effects to physical activity. Given the fact that e-sport is expected to expand its global fan-base to around 345 million by 2019, this change in the law seems absolutely necessary. As of 1 April 2017, accepting bets on virtual events (including e-sport) is expressly allowed under the Polish Gambling Act.

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/05/e-sport-will-finally-be-recognised-as-a-sport-in-poland/

New AML Act for Germany – impact on gambling operators

By Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann

The financial committee of the Federal Parliament agreed on amendments to the new German Anti Money Laundering (AML) Act (Geldwäschegesetz, GwG) yesterday. The new law will bring important changes for gambling operators.

While the scope of the new AML Act will be extended from online gambling to also offline gambling operators, there are some gambling products (e.g. social lotteries, slot machines) that might benefit from new exceptions because of their low money laundering risk. Other gambling operators (e.g. sports betting shops) might be faced with new challenges like restrictions in payment methods and new administrative offenses with administrative fines of up to 1 million Euro.

To implement the 4th AML directive the new law has to enter into force by 26 June 2017. Prior to this the Federal Parliament and the Federal Assembly are expected to agree to the proposed changes. We will keep you updated on the developments.

Update (19 May 2017): The Federal Parliament adopted the changes on 18 May 2017.

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/05/new-aml-act-for-germany-impact-on-gambling-operators/

UK – Ofcom reintroduces (lower) fees for video-on-demand services

By Patrick Mitchell and Alastair Mackichan

The larger operators of UK VOD services (such as broadcasters’ catch up services, and other on-demand TV and movie services) will again be required to pay an annual fee to meet Ofcom’s regulatory costs.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/05/uk-ofcom-reintroduces-lower-fees-for-video-on-demand-services/

AVMSD Reform: Focus on Video-Sharing Platforms

As broadly known, the EU Commission on May 25, 2016 published its proposal for a reform of the audio-visual media services Directive no. 2010/13/EU (“Proposal“, available here).  The Proposal is currently under scrutiny: in particular, the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education on April 25, 2017, voted to amend the Proposal.  The subject matter of this post is constituted by video-sharing platforms.

1. Video-Sharing Platforms: Current Regulatory Framework

The Italian AVMS Code – in accordance with the AVMS Directive – expressly states that video-sharing platforms do not fall within its scope of application (mainly because there would be no accountability / editorial responsibility in connection with the user-generated content).

As a consequence, the regulatory framework on video-sharing platform is mainly laid down by the Directive no. 2000/31/EC (so called “E-Commerce Directive”), according to which video-sharing platform providers should be regarded as “hosting providers” and so they benefit from the “no general obligation to monitor” principle set forth by Section 15 of the same Directive.

2. Video-Sharing Platforms under the Proposal

2.1 Introduction. The Aim of the Proposal According to the EU Commission

Mr. Andrus Ansip (Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Single Market) in his speech accompanying the publication of the Proposal argued that “[The] aim is that online platforms, the creative sector and the audiovisual sector become the driving forces of the digital economy; I do not want them to be weighed by useless or overdue standards. They need the certainty of a modern and equitable legal framework […]. This does not mean that the provisions currently in force need necessarily to be amended, such as those relating to the responsibility of online service providers.  It means deregulating, as necessary, traditional sectors such as broadcasting, or extending certain obligations to platforms and other digital operators to improve user’s protection and ensure equal conditions“.

2.2 Definition of “Video-Sharing Platform Service

In the scenario drawn up sub paragraph 2.1., the Proposal sets forth a brand-new definition of “video-sharing platform service” which falls within the scope of the AVMS Directive, i.e. the service which meets the following requirements:

A. the service consists of the storage of a large amount of programmes or user-generated videos, for which the video-sharing platform provider does not have editorial responsibility;

B. the organisation of the stored content is determined by the provider of the service, including by automatic means or algorithms, in particular hosting, displaying, tagging and sequencing;

C. the principal purpose of the service is the provision of programmes and user-generated videos to the general public, in order to inform, entertain or educate;

D. the service is made available by electronic communication networks.

2.3 “Video-Sharing Platform Service“: Regulatory Framework

The EU Commission remarked that “[it] will maintain the existing intermediary liability regime while implementing a sectorial, problem-driven approach to regulation”.

That said, Section 28a of the Proposal obliges video-sharing platform providers to:

A. protect minors from content which may impair their physical, mental or moral development;

B. protect all citizens from content containing incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to sex, race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.

The features of such obligations depend on the type of content displayed and shall consist of (“as appropriate“):

a) defining and applying in the terms and conditions of the video-sharing platform the concepts of incitement to violence or hatred as referred to in letter B) above (and of content which may impair the physical, mental or moral development of minors);

b) establishing and operating mechanisms for users of video-sharing platforms to report or flag to the video-sharing platform provider concerned harmful content as per letters A. and B. above;

c) establishing and operating age verification systems;

d) establishing and operating systems allowing users of video-sharing platforms to rate the harmful content as per letters A. and B. above.  This is particularly worth noting, as rating systems currently in force are generally based on a self-assessment carried out by AVMS providers;

e) providing parental control systems (in connection with content which may cause prejudice to minors);

f) providing systems through which the users’ reporting as per letter b) above is actually enforced (or the reasons why it has not been enforced).

Such obligations are actually borne (directly) by Member States (and not by the providers) and shall be performed through a co-regulation procedure (i.e., codes of conduct).  This approach is aimed at ensuring a tailor-made regulation; however, it could determine regulatory asymmetries in this field, to be carefully assessed also in light of the rules on jurisdiction set out by the Proposal (which will be the subject matter of our next AVMS #AVMSD Reform Series post).  The latter conclusion has been also flagged by the European Audiovisual Observatory which, along with the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) on January 17, 2017 published the summary (available here) of a workshop entitled “Addressing Regulatory Asymmetries: Video-Sharing Platforms, Targeting On-Demand Services, and Services Outside the EU“.

We will keep you updated on the next steps of the ongoing legislative procedure.

Feel free to contact us if you want to discuss the above!

saverio.cavalcanti@dlapiper.com / @Zagherio

dario.malandrino@dlapiper.com / DarioMalandrin1


Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/05/avmsd-reform-focus-on-video-sharing-platforms/

2017 Prize Promotions Handbook Now Available

For a number of years DLA Piper has been offering clients access to its Prize Promotions handbook and the great news is the 2017 version now covers 35 countries around the world.

The interactive Prize Promotions Around the World website assists clients with the management of the early development stages of a prize promotion (such as a sweepstake or skill-based contest), and sections on topics such as judging and sanctions.

Have a look at the site and see how the risk varies around the world; how severe sanctions are and how regularly they are imposed, as well as the relative restrictiveness of regulations.


Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/05/4860/

Proposed restrictions on gambling during broadcast (including online platforms) in Australia

On 6 May 2017 the Australian Government announced the Broadcast and Content Reform Package which, among other things, affects the current broadcasting regime that covers gambling advertising and promotions during live sports programmes.

The reform package includes a prohibition on gambling promotions from five minutes before the scheduled start of play in all live sports broadcasts to five minutes after the conclusion of play until 8:30 pm (after which the existing regime will apply). The restriction targets programmes aimed at an Australian audience, including commercial and subscription television (including SBS), commercial radio and online platforms. The current ban on promotion of live odds, the exemptions for racing and the advertising of lotteries will remain as is.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/05/proposed-restrictions-on-gambling-during-broadcast-including-online-platforms-in-australia/

Filmspeler – Sale of “fully-loaded” IPTV boxes and “unlawful use”

By Alastair Mackichan, John Cloke and John Wilks

In another welcome decision for content owners and broadcasters, the CJEU has dealt a significant blow to the business models of those individuals looking to profit from the sale of pre-configured media players which provide end-users with hyperlinks to copyright-infringing Internet streams.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/05/filmspeler-sale-of-fully-loaded-iptv-boxes-and-unlawful-use/

If you can’t beat them, block them. Section 115A strikes against piracy websites, this time for the music industry

By Rohan Singh, Jessica Noakesmith and Brett Shandler

If you can’t beat them, block them. Section 115A strikes against piracy websites, this time for the music industry.

Universal Music Australia Pty Limited v TPG Internet Pty Ltd [2017] FCA 435 (28 April 2017) (Universal Music)

Last week in the Federal Court of Australia, over thirty internet service providers (ISPs) including TPG, Optus and Telstra were ordered to block access to the torrenting website KickassTorrents and related domain names. Universal Music is the third case to be decided under the recently added section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) after Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v Telstra Corporation Ltd (Roadshow Films) and Foxtel Management Pty Limited v TPG Internet Pty Ltd[1], and represents a win for music labels such as Universal Music, APRA, AMCOS and Warner Music.

In concluding that it was appropriate to grant an injunction, Justice Burley found it was relevant that KickassTorrents had been blocked in other countries and that it reflected a flagrant and “open disregard for copyright”. Last year the alleged owner of the website was arrested by the U.S. Government in Poland and was charged with criminal copyright infringement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/05/if-you-cant-beat-them-block-them-section-115a-strikes-against-piracy-websites-this-time-for-the-music-industry/

Regulations governing the reformed Horserace Betting Levy now in force

The long awaited Horseracing Betting Levy Regulations 2017 (the “Regulations”) come into force today (25th April 2017) following the grant of State Aid approval by the European Commission on 21st April 2017. The Regulations reform the statutory Horserace Betting Levy by extending its application to off-shore bookmakers (in its previous form the Horserace Betting Levy only applied to bookmakers based in the UK). The Regulations set a 10% levy on the “gross gambling yield” on bets accepted by all betting operators on horse races in the UK where the gross gambling yield is above a de-minimus threshold of £500,000 per annum. The Regulations were passed by the UK Parliament in March 2017, conditional on state aid approval.

Nick Fitzpatrick and his team advise the British Horseracing Authority on related issues.

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/04/regulations-governing-the-reformed-horserace-betting-levy-now-in-force/

Polish blacklist of gambling websites

On 1 April 2017, the Polish Regulator set up a gambling domain names blacklist. It will contain all gambling games websites addressed to recipients in Poland (i.e. in particular the websites that are in Polish or are advertised in Poland) which are run by gambling operators that do not have a Polish licence. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2017/04/polish-blacklist-of-gambling-websites/

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