Showing posts from 2018

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

Source: EU Commission Other available languages:  FR DE DA ES NL IT SV FI EL ET   HU LT LV MT PL SK SL BG RO HR 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 b

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 Gambling Key figures 2017 Licensing EGBA

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 med

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

Link 06/11/2018  Press contacts Katharina Rettig Press 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 provi

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 (whic

Apple Case: EU Commission withdraws legal action against Ireland after full recovery of illegal aid to Apple

Following the confirmation by Ireland that the full recovery of the illegal State aid granted to Apple has been finalised, the Commission has today decided to withdraw its Court action against Ireland.  On 30 August 2016 , the Commission adopted a State aid decision finding that Ireland had granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. The Commission concluded that these tax benefits were illegal under EU State aid rules as they allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax on profits recorded in Ireland than other companies subject to same national taxation laws and ordered Ireland to recover the amount of taxes that should have been paid by Apple.  The deadline for Ireland to implement the Commission's decision and recover the illegal State aid was 3 January 2017. In view of the delay in recovery, on 4 October 2017 the Commission referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failure to recover the illegal State aid granted to Apple. On 6 September 2018, I

EU Commission presents a directory of European films to facilitate on-line access

Link - Source: EU Commission Other available languages: FR DE DA ES NL IT SV PT FI EL CS ET HU LT LV MT PL SK SL BG RO HR Brussels, 18 October 2018 On the occasion of the Marché international du film classique [International Classic Film Market] in Lyon, Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, will today present the prototype of a directory of European films, a key action of the Digital4Culture strategy which is also part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Launched with the assistance of the European Audiovisual Observatory, the new directory will help professionals, the public authorities and citizens to find information about European films and their availability on-line in video-on-demand (VOD) services throughout the European Union. Commissioner Gabriel said: "It is up to us to ensure that European works enjoy the audience that they deserve. Digital transformation has the potential to reinforce the positive impact of

EU-Mitgliedstaaten einigen sich auf niedrigere Mehrwertsteuer für E-Books

Link 02/10/2018 Quelle: Vertretung der EU in Berlin Die Finanzminister der EU-Mitgliedstaaten haben heute (Dienstag) einen Durchbruch bei der Mehrwertsteuer erzielt. Unter anderem wurden die Mehrwertsteuersätze für elektronische Veröffentlichungen wie etwa E-Books, die derzeit in den meisten Mitgliedstaaten zum Normalsatz besteuert werden, an die günstigere Regelung für gedruckte Veröffentlichungen angepasst. Darüber hinaus einigte man sich auf neue Vorschriften zum Informationsaustausch und auf eine engere Zusammenarbeit zwischen nationalen Steuerbehörden und Strafverfolgungsbehörden. Betrug und Steuerhinterziehung in diesem Sektor dürften somit künftig schwieriger werden. „Glaubt man den jüngsten Zahlen, so gehen den Mitgliedstaaten jährlich immer noch rund 150 Mrd. Euro an MwSt. verloren. Die heutigen Vereinbarungen sind ein wichtiger Schritt zur Lösung dieses Problems“, erklärte EU-Wirtschafts- und Finanzkommissar Pierre Moscovici. Nach den geltenden Mehrwertsteuervorschriften

The EU joins the Marrakesh Treaty on access to print works in formats adapted for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled

On 1 October 2018, the EU ratified the Marrakesh Treaty. The Treaty facilitates access to print works in formats adapted for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.  The act took place in a ceremony at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. It was carried out by Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger of Austria, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU, and Claire Bury, Deputy Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technologies at the European Commission. Read more

EU Parliament approves revised rules for audiovisual media (AVMSD) across Europe

Source: EU Commission 2 October 2018 The European Parliament plenary session approved today the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). Part of the Digital Single Market strategy, the new rules pave the way for a fairer regulatory environment for the entire audiovisual sector, including on-demand services and video sharing platforms. They promote European audiovisual productions and guarantee the independence of audiovisual regulators, strengthen the protection of minors and reinforce the battle against hate speech in all audiovisual content. The new Directive additionally promotes European works by guaranteeing a 30% share of European works in on-demand catalogues and keeps the country-of-origin principle as the cornerstone of EU audiovisual regulation, with more clarity on which Member State's rules apply in each case. Vice-President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, responsible for Digital Economy and Soc

EU Commission study reveals problems with advertising and marketing practices on social media

Source: EU Commission Study can be found  online here . The European Commission today published a study that identifies unfair and manipulative advertising and marketing practices on social media.  Evidence collected shows that consumers are often not aware about the way social media providers target them for marketing purposes. For example, one third of the participants surveyed were unaware of the commercial nature of native advertising , i.e. paid ads in an online publication which resemble the publication's editorial content. Conversely, consumers usually are able to quickly recognise a typical magazine advertisement.  Likewise, two thirds of consumers are misled by a common practice on Facebook, which consists of showing “likes” from their friends next to other products than those that they had actually “liked” . Practices forbidden under the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Blacklist such as false offers and false prize winning competitions were also found to be commo

S&D/SPD-Hintergrund zu Neuen Video-Regeln für TV und Internet - Verordnung: Abstimmung am Dienstag,, 3. Oktober 2018

Quelle: SPD im EU-Parlament: Verordnung: Abstimmung am Dienstag, 03.10.2018 , 12 Uhr bis 14 Uhr; Pressekonferenz, Mittwoch 10 Uhr bis 10.30 Uhr, im Pressezentrum (LOWN-1/201) Petra KAMMEREVERT MdEP, Vorsitzende des Kulturausschusses im Europäischen Hintergrund:  Die Richtlinie für Audiovisuelle Mediendienste gab bisher Grundregeln für Fernsehinhalte und Videoabrufdienste, zum Beispiel Netflix, vor. Durch eine umfassende Reform werden die Regeln für Bild und Ton an die Herausforderungen des digitalen Zeitalters angepasst und sollen in Zukunft für Bewegtbilder insgesamt, also auch online, auf Social Media Plattformen wie Facebook oder Videoplattformdiensten wie Youtube, gelten. Am Dienstag, 3. Oktober 2018, wird das Plenum in Straßburg über den finalen Text abstimmen, der nach langwierigen Trilog-Verhandlungen einen Kompromiss präsentiert. Folgende Veränderungen werden demnach in knapp zwei Jahren eingeführt sein: Die Richtlinie führt einen erweiterte

New EPRA Report: Too Few Women in Audiovisual Media - EU Commission

Source: EU Commission 18 September 2018 Today, the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA)  presented its report on the representation of women in the audiovisual media industry to European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel, confirming that women are currently underrepresented on-screen and in the audiovisual media industry more widely. The report explores the on-screen representation and portrayal of women, the stereotypes of female characters in advertising as well as women's off-screen representation. It is based on the responses to a survey of 31 audiovisual regulators primarily from within the EU , including some members of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA).  The report shows that there is a willingness among many regulators to address the issue of gender representation in the sector and stresses the potential role of media regulatory authorities in supporting this trend. Commissioner for

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-002713/2018 Commission response 20 July 2018 P-002713/2018 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 an

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 It In-depth analysis: The legal framework to address “fake news”: possible policy actions at the EU level Source : © European Union, 2018 - EP VISIT WEBSITE

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 prop

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 interaction

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 find

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 VISIT WEBSITE

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 agreement reached on 6 June 2018 between the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament representatives on modernising the existing rules  on the provision of audiovisual 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 Council The  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 2016 after a thorough evaluation of the previous 2010 AVMSD. This evaluation highlighted the need to  ensure a level playing field  b

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. T