EU Parliament Briefing on regulating online TV and radio broadcasting

In December 2018, the co-legislators reached an agreement on a European Commission proposal for facilitating the cross-border provision of online TV and radio content. The co-legislators agreed to extend the 'country of origin' principle to a limited set of online services, and to facilitate the licensing of retransmission services over the internet under certain conditions. Furthermore, at the request of the European Parliament, the compromise text contains new rules on 'direct injection', a process used increasingly by broadcasters to transmit their programmes to the public. The compromise also includes a change of the instrument from a regulation into a directive in order to leave flexibility to the Member States to implement the new rules on 'direct injection'. The Member States' negotiators and the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) endorsed the political agreement in January 2019. The compromise text must now gain the approval of the European Parliament d…

U.S. Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): DRL Promoting Internet Freedom in Ukraine


March 8, 2019

United States Department of State
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL)
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO):
DRL Promoting Internet Freedom in Ukraine
This is the announcement of funding opportunity number SFOP0005589Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345Type of Solicitation: Full and Open CompetitionApplication Deadline: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 11:59 PM ESTFunding Floor (lowest $$ value): $500,000Funding Ceiling (highest $$ value): $1,180,500Anticipated Number of Awards: 1-2Type of Award: Grant and/or Cooperative AgreementPeriod of Performance (example 12-18 months, 2 -5 years): 1-3 yearsAnticipated Time to Award (pending availability of funds): 3-6 months A. Project Description

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for programs that promote Internet freedom in Ukraine. In support of the National Cyber Strategy fo…

EU Council: EU copyright rules adjusted to the digital age

Source: EU Council

The EU is amending its copyright legal framework to make it fit-for-purpose in today's digital environment. Representatives of the Romanian presidency of the Council today reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on a draft directive that introduces changes to existing EU copyright rules as part of creating a true EU digital single market. The agreement will now be submitted for confirmation by member states at the Council.
"Today's agreement is a sign of our determination to set up a well-functioning digital single market that encourages the development of new content-based businesses in the interest of all European citizens. We will, therefore, unlock the opportunities of the digital world, both for creators, whose rights should be fully respected and for the European citizens, who should take advantage of the benefits brought by the Digital Single Market."
Valer Daniel Breaz, Romanian Minister for Culture and National Identity Re…

De-referencing II: EU Advocate General Szpunar proposes that the Court should hold that the operator of a search engine must, as a matter of course, accede to a request for the de-referencing of sensitive data. The operator of a search engine must, however, ensure protection of the right of access to information and of the right of freedom of expression

Court of Justice of the European Union
Luxembourg, 10 January 2019
Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-136/17
G.C. and Others v CNIL
Advocate General Szpunar proposes that the Court should hold that the operator of a search engine must, as a matter of course, accede to a request for the de-referencing of sensitive data
The operator of a search engine must, however, ensure protection of the right of access to information and of the right of freedom of expression

A dispute has arisen between, on the one hand, Ms G.C., Mr A.F., Mr B.H. and Mr E.D. and, on the other hand, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (French Data Protection Authority) (‘the CNIL’) with regard to four of that authority’s decisions refusing to put the company Google Inc. on formal notice to de-reference various links, included in the results list displayed following a search made on the basis of their names, to web pages published by third parties. The…

EU Court to rule about search engine de-referencing - Google v CNIL (France)

Court of Justice of the European Union PRESS RELEASE No 2/19
Luxembourg, 10 January 2019
Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-507/17
Google v CNIL (France)
Advocate General Szpunar proposes that the Court should limit the scope of the de-referencing that search engine operators are required to carry out to the EU
By decision of 21 May 2015, the President of the French Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (National Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties; ‘the CNIL’) served formal notice on Google that, when acceding to a request from a natural person for the removal of links to web pages from the list of results displayed following a search performed on the basis of that person’s name, it must apply that removal to all of its search engine’s domain name extensions.
Google refused to comply with that formal notice, merely removing the links in question from only the results displayed following a search performed on the domain nam…

Digital Single Market: EU negotiators agree to facilitate access to online TV and radio content across borders

Source: EU Commission


Brussels, 13 December 2018

The negotiators of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council, have today reached a political agreement on the proposed copyright legislation on TV and radio programmes.

The new rules will make it easier for European broadcasters to make certain programmes available on their live TV or catch-up services online and will simplify the distribution of more radio and TV channels by retransmission operators. This agreement marks an important step towards a fully functioning Digital Single Market.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "I am very pleased we reached yet another agreement that brings us closer to a functioning Digital Single Market. The updated broadcasting rules are a big part of the puzzle. This regulation has the potential to unlock a large amount of broadcast content across borders, benefitting the 41% of …

EGBA publishes EU online gambling key figures for 2017

New industry data from 2017 shows that EGBA members are leading the way in popular digital entertainment.

Brussels, Today – European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) members in 2017 had more than 12 million active customers, held licenses in 19 EU member states, processed 354 million online payments, contributed €325 million support to sports, and sustained 33,000 digital and high quality jobs in the EU across 14 member states, according to new 2017 data released today by the industry group.

“Europe’s online gambling sector is a growing and popular form of digital entertainment - but with this growth comes responsibility to ensure that people are kept safe while playing on online gambling websites. This new data shows EGBA members are at the forefront of the sector’s development, interacting with millions of customers and processing nearly a million payment transactions each day.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.

EU-28 Online GamblingKey figures 2017LicensingEGBA companies…

EU Commission clears acquisition of Skoobe by Klio, Holtzbrinck, Verlagsgruppe Random House and Arvato CRM Solutions

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control of the whole of Skoobe GmbH by Klio GmbH, Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH & Co. KG ("Holtzbrinck"), Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH ("Random House") and Arvato CRM Solutions GmbH ("Arvato"), all of Germany. Skoobe offers the temporary rental of e-books over its online platform and via its own application. Klio is active as a book retailer. Holtzbrinck is an international media company that is active in trade-book publishing, education and science, newspapers and magazines as well as electronic media and services. Random House is a publishing house of Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA ("Bertelsmann") active in the area of fictional and non-fictional books, books for children and adolescents, audio and e-books. Arvato is an international service company of Bertelsmann offering various technical services. Bertelsmann is an international me…

Less hate speech and more European content on video streaming services: EU Council adopts new EU rules

Press contacts Katharina RettigPress officer +32 2 281 55 05 +32 473 52 75 49
Today we can watch our favourite programmes anytime, anywhere. New times call for new audiovisual rules, to protect children and consumers.

As a result of updates by the EU to its rules for audiovisual media services, traditional television and new services such as on-demand broadcasting will compete on a level playing field. Video sharing platforms will also for the first time be subject to rules ensuring that viewers, and in particular minors, will be better protected from violent or harmful content or hate speech.

The new rules also aim to increase cultural diversity and promote European content by introducing a quota of at least 30% of European content in the catalogue of providers of on-demand audiovisual media services.

The Council adopted the new directive on 6 November. This is the final step in the legislative process.

The new directive modifies an existing directive on the provision of au…

Electronic publications: EU Council adopts reform allowing reduced VAT rates

Source: EU Council

06/11/2018 | 11:45

On 6 November 2018, the Council adopted a directive allowing alignment of VAT rules for electronic and physical publications. From now on, member states will be able to apply reduced, super-reduced or zero VAT rates also to electronic publications.

The adoption of the e-publication directive follows the political agreement reached by the Council on 2 October. It opens up the possibility for member states to implement reduced VAT rates in their national law if they wish to do so.

Under the current VAT rules (directive 2006/112/EC), electronically supplied services are taxed at the standard VAT rate, i.e. minimum 15%, whereas publications on a physical support may benefit from non-standard rates.

For physical publications – books, newspapers and periodicals – member states currently have the option of applying a ‘reduced’ VAT rate, i.e. minimum 5%. Some have been authorised to apply ‘super-reduced’ VAT rates (below 5%) or ‘zero’ rates (which involve VAT …