Comparison of different views and approaches to regulation in the audio-visual sector in Europe

The goal of this mission held in the period of July 15 to 17, 2019 was to present the approach of Ireland, which adopted an open economic policy and a light touch regulatory approach. This approach proved to be successful insofar; it resulted in the establishment of Facebook, Microsoft and other service providers’ headquarters in Ireland.

Ireland

Mr. Declan McLoughlin, the representative for BAI, explained the advantages and disadvantages of this approach for regulators to implement, and talked about the approach taken by the Ireland towards traditional broadcasters and on-demand/VSP service providers (in terms of protection of EU and national works, authorization regime and protection of minors). The presentation highlighted the approach taken by Ireland was successful in attracting global companies and investors, but cannot be considered a model for Israel for the regulation is too loose and the regulator has very little power.

Mr. Ernest Apa, a lawyer who protects the interests of Netflix and Chili in Italy; two important VoD players, in Italy, presented his view of the new media in regards to the various regulatory approaches (light and burdensome).  Mr. Apa explained that the fiscal provisions (for example the exemptions granted in Ireland) are important but not the main reasons why a global player should choose to establish its headquarters in a specific country. Mr. Apa recommended that the regulatory framework of a country must be simple and predictable by comparing the Italian and Dutch sides. The judiciary system or the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are required to provide fast, authoritative answers, the competition rules need to be preserved, and the market players protected from undue influence of governments. He presented the different types of new media (SVoD, AVoD and TVoD), explaining the difficulties of applying the AVMS provisions on EU works to every one of them.

Eventually, Ms. Claudia Angrisani and Mr. Francesco Sciacchitano recapped the approach taken by Italy and the Italian regulator, AGCOM, concerning the protection of EU national works, and the obligations for the VoiD and VSP.  They presented the novelties of the very recent Decree issued on 28 June 2019, n. 59 that changed the rules for the audio-visual sector and tried to re-balance the regulatory burden between traditional and new media.


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