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Dentons' GLOW named one of the top 10 LGBT+ network groups in the UK at the British LGBT Awards 2018
Dentons' UK LGBT+ network, GLOW, was named one of the country's top 10 LGBT+ Network Groups at the British LGBT Awards 2018.
Costs recovery in the SICC: A different regime
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Starting your career as a student at Dentons exposes you to a world of experience and opportunities
With 125+ locations in 50+ countries, Dentons is home to top-tier talent that is found at the intersection of geography, industry knowledge and substantive legal experience. Working with Dentons, you will have the opportunity to learn from the best lawyers in the industry at the largest law firm in the world.
14 Dentons Rodyk lawyers recognised in Asialaw Leading Lawyers 2018
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Since the European Commission announced its much vaunted Digital Single Market strategy in May 2015 to boost the EU's digital economy, it has had precious little to show, with major initiatives such as copyright reform and e-privacy stuck in debates over how best to achieve meaningful reform.
The signs are that things are about to change, especially if events of 25 May 2016 are anything to go by. On that date the Commission unveiled a major plan to boost e-commerce alongside a proposed update of EU regulation to create a “modern and fair legal environment” for all providers of audiovisual services. It also announced draft regulations dealing with geo-blocking in e-commerce (but which will not apply to audiovisual services), price transparency of parcel delivery services, and cooperation between national consumer protection authorities.
Completing the May 2016 package is a communication from the Commission on online platforms and the Digital Single Market, signalling that it will adopt a copyright package in autumn 2016 aimed at achieving a fairer allocation of value generated by the online distribution of copyright-protected content by online platforms.
For now, the most relevant aspect of the 25 May 2016 announcements for media companies is the much-anticipated Proposal to amend the existing Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which provides a common framework for the regulation of certain audiovisual media services across the EU, and is the focus of this update.
The current version of the Directive came into force on 20 May 2010. One of the principal aims of the Directive was to ensure that linear (i.e. scheduled, one-to-many) and on-demand services are subject to a comparable degree of regulation, albeit with a lighter touch regime for on-demand services. The degree to which the regulatory approach should differ is a debatable area in itself, particularly in view of the significant increase in on-demand services since the current Directive came into force.
More particularly, the Directive includes important provisions in areas such as product placement and the protection of minors. It also contains the important country of origin principle whereby audiovisual media services transmitted by a provider under the jurisdiction of a particular Member State only have to comply with the laws applicable to their services in that Member State (even if they transmit into others).
The latest Proposal follows the Commission's public consultation process launched on 6 July 2015, which asked how well the current framework works, what roles and responsibilities market players should have, and how best regulators can protect viewers, promote European works and regulate advertising in the audiovisual online world. It is also a central plank of its Digital Single Market strategy, which is designed to boost the EU's digital economy through better targeted regulation.
Convergence between traditional broadcast media and internet-based services (including video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms) means regulators must increasingly balance rules to ensure they remain relevant to the media landscape and how the public consumes information and entertainment. The differing and changing nature of audiovisual media services also means the Commission has stated it is not adopting a "one-size-fits-all" approach here, but instead intends to make rules to be flexible to allow for this.
The Proposal therefore seeks to achieve a number of outcomes.
With regards to concerns as to the gap between regulation of linear and on-demand, traditional TV broadcasters will likely be pleased with the prospect of more flexible advertising rules, potentially giving more freedom over scheduling of ads in prime time.
Given that Member States will remain free to apply higher levels of regulation to these advertising rules, it does remain to be seen whether the new Directive will change the approach of particular jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, which currently provide for less extensive ad space.
On the other hand, on-demand will continue to be subject to lighter touch regulation, while video-sharing is newly regulated by the Directive but only in respect of viewer protection measures.
Once adopted by the European Commission, the Proposal is to be sent to the European Parliament and to the Council in order for it to be commonly agreed between them. Watch this space for further updates to the Proposal and other initiatives arising out of the Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy.
1 There is no change however to the recital in the existing Directive that it is a characteristic of on-demand audiovisual media services that they are 'television-like', i.e. that they are competing for the same audience as television broadcasts, and the nature and the means of access to the service would lead the user reasonably to expect regulatory protection within the scope of the Directive.
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