Showing posts from 2018

The EU's ambiguous position towards Facebook

Despite its criticism, the EU Commission does business with Facebook as the following EU Commission answer to MEPs demonstrate:
EU Commission Answer - Commission spending on online advertising on Facebook - P-002713/2018Commission response
20 July 2018

Answer given by President Juncker on behalf of the European Commission

The Commission considers that Facebook, like other social media, offers a cost-effective means of reaching substantial parts of the EU population(1).

Like many other international organisations and public bodies, the Commission has boosted Facebook posts on Commission pages around key communication moments, notably for the roll-out(2) of corporate communication campaigns.

Examples of these campaigns include the Investment Plan for Europe(3) and the 60th anniversary of the EU. The outreach on the Investment Plan for Europe, for example, has contributed to very positive results so far by showing citizens the tangible benefits of EU funding and EU supported inv…

EU Parliament publishes In-depth analysis on potential tool and policy actions to combat fake news

Source: EP  - Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

The paper on "Technology as Enabler of Fake News and a Potential Tool to Combat It" investigates the role of technology in the circulation of the so-called fake news. The paper on "The legal framework to address “fake news”: possible policy actions at the EU level" argues that the current policy initiatives adopted by the European Commission are meaningful, but still incomplete. These documents were prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the IMCO Committee.

Further information
In-depth analysis: Technology as Enabler of Fake News and a Potential Tool to Combat ItIn-depth analysis: The legal framework to address “fake news”: possible policy actions at the EU levelSource : © European Union, 2018 - EP


EU Commission clears acquisition of Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk Business by Blackstone

Source: EU Commission - Link The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk Business (“Thomson Reuters F&R”) by the Blackstone Group, both of the US.  Thomson Reuters F&R is a data and financial technology business that provides information and data analytics, enables financial transactions and connects communities of trading, investment, financial, corporate, strategy, treasure and risk professionals. Blackstone is a global asset manager and provider of financial advisory services.  Blackstone, through its portfolio company Ipreo, and Thomson Reuters F&R both provide financial information products to financial market professionals, including real-time and non-real-time data services. The transaction gives rise to a number of horizontal and vertical overlaps between the companies' activities.  Following its market investigation, the Commission concluded that the proposed transact…

Good news for journalists: We won't be replaced by robots

I've just checked on this BBC website, which professions and functions are threatened to be replaced by robots. The good news is: Journalists are not an endangered species:

EU Commission working group presents draft code of practice on online disinformation

The working group of the multi-stakeholder forum on online disinformation has delivered a draft Code of Practice to tackle online disinformation. The working group is composed of online platforms, leading social networks, advertisers and the advertising industry. A final code of practice is expected in September.

Source - EU Commission: VISIT WEBSITE

The draft Code of Practice and its annex map out the Commission's objectives outlined in the Communication "Tackling online Disinformation", and should lead to a measurable reduction of online disinformation by addressing the following five main areas:
Improving the scrutiny of ad placements to demonetize purveyors of disinformation;Ensuring transparency of political advertising and issue-based advertising to enable users to identify promoted content;Ensuring the integrity of platforms' services including by identifying and closing fake accounts and using appropriate mechanisms to signal bot-driven interactions;Making it ea…

EU-Gerichtshof: Mündliche Verhandlung in der Rechtssache C-516/17 Spiegel Online - Umfang des urheberrechtlichen Zitatrechts der Presse

3. Juli 2018 - 11.00 Uhr 
Ein Bundestagsabgeordneter hat die Spiegel Online GmbH vor deutschen Gerichten auf Unterlassung und Schadensersatz verklagt, nachdem diese in einem Pressebericht auf ihrem Internetportal Links zu ein von ihm verfassten Manuskript, in dem er sich zum Sexualstrafrecht geäußert hatte, sowie dem 1988 als Buchbeitrag erschienen Text gesetzt hatte. In dem Pressebericht vertrat die Autorin die Ansicht, der Bundestagsabgeordnete habe die Öffentlichkeit jahrelang hinters Licht geführt. Die Originaldokumente belegten, dass das Manuskript nahezu identisch mit dem Buchbeitrag und die zentrale Aussage des Bundestagsabgeordneten keineswegs im Sinn verfälscht worden sei. Der Bundestagsabgeordnete sieht in der Veröffentlichung der Texte eine Verletzung seines Urheberrechts. Der Bundesgerichtshof hat dem EuGH in diesem Zusammenhang eine Reihe von Fragen zum Umfang des urheberrechtlichen Zitatrechts vorgelegt (siehe auch Pressemitteilung des BGH Nr. 124/17). Heute findet die mü…

EU Parliament publishes its briefing on the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD)

Source: Briefing - The Audiovisual Media Services Directive - 14-06-2018

On 6 June 2018, European Parliament negotiators and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council agreed on an updated EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, based on the proposal presented by the Commission on 25 May 2016. The overarching goal of the proposal is to bring about a balance between competitiveness and consumer protection. It therefore aims to introduce flexibility when restrictions only applicable to TV are no longer justified, promote European films, protect minors and tackle hate speech more efficiently. The proposal also reflects a new approach to online platforms. Following the informal agreement, the text is expected to be put to the vote in plenary in autumn 2018. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Source : © European Union, 2018 - EP


Audiovisual media services: EU agreement on a directive to protect minors, boost competitiveness and promote European content

Source: EU Council Link On 13 June EU ambassadors confirmed an agreementreached on 6 June 2018 between the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament representatives on modernising the existing rules on the provision ofaudiovisual media services in Europe. Good policy-making involves ensuring that our rules are up to date and reflect modern technology. As a result of this agreement on audiovisual media services we will be better equipped to protect consumers and children, fight the spread of hate speech and safeguard media pluralism and independence. Boil Banov, minister for culture of the Republic of Bulgaria and president of the CouncilThe proposal for a revision of the directive on the provision of audiovisual media services in the light of changing market realities (AVMSD) was presented by the Commission in 2016after a thorough evaluation of the previous 2010 AVMSD. This evaluation highlighted the need to ensure a level playing field between the traditional broadca…

EU Commission Q&A on Modernisation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD)

Source: EU Commission +++ 

Brussels, 7 June 2018 +++  QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS +++  Modernisation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive +++  Why was the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) revised? The media landscape has shifted dramatically in less than a decade. Instead of sitting in front of the family TV, millions of Europeans, especially young people, watch content online, on demand and on different mobile devices. Children are watching less traditional TV: the average daily viewing time for young Europeans was 2 hours in 2014 i.e. about half as much as the average viewer (source).Global internet video share in consumer internet traffic is expected to increase from 64% in 2014 to 80% by 2019 (source).Taking these new developments into account, as well as the Commission proposal to review the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), the European Parliament and the Council reached yesterday a political agreement on the revised rules. This paves the way to creating a reg…

EU member states agree their position on new copyright rules for the digital environment

25/05/2018 | 17:52

Link to Source: Council of the EU

The EU Council's permanent representatives committee (Coreper) - representing the member states - today agreed its position on a draft directive aimed at adapting EU copyright rules to the digital environment.

The common position will serve as a mandate for the presidency of the Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament, once the latter has agreed its own position.

"All kinds of content are today easily made available online. The dissemination of creative content through the internet encourages cultural diversity. However, this has to be balanced against an appropriate level of protection and fair remuneration for those creating the content." - Boil Banov, Minister of culture of Bulgaria
The main objective of the directive is to modernise the European copyright framework and adapt it to the requirements of the digital age. By contributing to the harmonisation of practises across member states, it will…

Tackling online disinformation: EU Commission proposes an EU-wide Code of Practice

Source: EU Commission: Link

Brussels, 26 April 2018

Today, the Commission is proposing measures to tackle disinformation online, including an EU-wide Code of Practice on Disinformation, support for an independent network of fact-checkers, and a series of actions to stimulate quality journalism and promote media literacy.

The recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica revelations demonstrated exactly how personal data can be exploited in electoral contexts, and are a timely reminder that more is needed to secure resilient democratic processes. Today the European Commission is taking steps forward in the fight against disinformation to ensure the protection of European values and security.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "Disinformation is not new as an instrument of political influence. New technologies, especially digital, have expanded its reach via the online environment to undermine o…

Online platforms: EU Commission sets new standards in favor of transparency and fairness

Source: EU Commission: Link


Brussels, 26 April 2018

Today, the European Commission is proposing new rules for the online platforms providing small businesses with a safety net in the digital economy.

The new rules will improve the functioning of the Digital Single Market and follow President Juncker's State of the Union announcements of 13 September 2017 to "safeguard a fair, predictable, sustainable and trusted business environment in the online economy". The aim of the new rules is to create a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for smaller businesses and traders when using online platforms. Businesses such as hotels, traders selling online, app developers, and other similar companies that rely on search engines for attracting internet traffic to their websites are amongst those who will benefit from the new rules.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "…

Audiovisual media services rules in Europe: preliminary breakthrough in EU trilogue negotiations

Source: EU Commission
Brussels, 26 April 2018

The European Parliament, Council and Commission have reached a preliminary political agreement on the main elements of revised rules to apply to audiovisual media across Europe.

The negotiations will officially conclude in June when the European Parliament, Council and Commission will meet to finalise and discuss the last remaining technical details of the proposal. After formal confirmation by the Council and the European Parliament's plenary vote, the new rules will have to be transposed into national law.

This agreement paves the way for a fairer regulatory environment for the entire audiovisual sector, including on-demand services and video sharing platforms. The new rules strengthen the protection of minors and reinforce the battle against hate speech in all audiovisual content. They promote European audiovisual productions and guarantee the independence of audiovisual regulators.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus An…

Report - Media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union - EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

The EU Parliament REPORT on media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union has been published online.

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Barbara Spinelli


Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Rapporteur: Barbara SpinelliRapporteur for the opinion (*): Curzio Maltese, Committee on Culture and Education (*) Associated committees – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure



Through the adoption of Lisbon Treaty, the European Union has identified itself as a community of values in which human rights represent its cornerstone. Freedom of expression and information is internationally recognized as one of the core elements of the human rights and fundamental freedo…