Cultural diversity

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IRIS Special – Legal Aspects of Video on Demand, published by the European Audiovisual Observatory

On January 28, 2008, the European Audiovisual Observatory announced the publication of an IRIS Special entitled “Legal Aspects of Video on Demand.” The study is available in English, French, and German.

In a press release issued for the occasion, the Observatory wrote, “Following the adoption of the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive in December 2007, it would seem that the legal framework for VoD services in Europe has been solidly defined. However, the latest legal publication by the European Audiovisual Observatory—one of the first analyses to deal with VoD in its changed legal context—shows that the legal parameters for VoD are far from complete. Indeed, many aspects still remain open and subject to dispute.”

According to the press release, this new report is based on discussions held during a workshop organized in June 2007 by the Strasbourg-based Observatory and its two partner institutions, the Institute of European Media Law (EMR) in Saarbrücken and Amsterdam’s IViR (Institute for Information Law). The proceedings of the workshop form the first chapter of this new publication.

The key questions addressed by this IRIS Special are the following:

  • What rights does a VoD provider need?
  • Are contractual standards already in place?
  • What role is played by exploitation windows?
  • What rules determine the relations between different competitors?
  • What experiences from the music industry are useful?
  • How are VoD customers protected?
  • What are the consequences of the newly created dual role of consumer/producer?

The press release mentions that the aim of this IRIS Special is to examine in detail the main legal issues related to VoD services. Particular attention is paid to questions linked to copyright law, competition law and consumer protection. The study of contractual arrangements chosen by the VoD industry, particularly in France, the United Kingdom and Germany, describes various legal approaches and gives this IRIS Special a high degree of practical relevance.

You can order a copy of this study by clicking here.

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