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ETNO
European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association

2010

| ETNO

EC074 - ETNO Expert Contribution commenting on Commission Issue Papers in preparation of the review of the TVWF Directive

The Expert Contribution contains ETNO comments on Television without Frontiers Issue Papers 1, 3, 4 and 5. On the rules applicable to the audiovisual content services, ETNO is concerned about the legal uncertainty that may arise as a result of the review of the Directive, at the very moment when the ICT sector is fully engaged in rolling-out new value-added broadband services.

The Expert Contribution contains ETNO comments on TVWF Issue Papers 1, 3, 4 and 5.

IP1 - Rules applicable to the audiovisual content services

ETNO is concerned about the legal uncertainty that may arise as a result of the review of the Directive, at the very moment when the ICT sector is fully engaged in rolling-out new value-added broadband services. It might be more fruitful to only consider a possible review, depending on the future stabilization of the new emerging markets.

The strict separation between the rules of the TVWF Directive on linear broadcast television and the general rules on audiovisual content and on information society services offered on individual demand should be maintained. In general terms, the key criterion for issuing regulation should be the degree of user’s control as opposed to publisher control. Where the user is in control, as exemplified by on-demand services, additional EU regulation is not necessary. Information Society services should continue to be regulated by the E-Commerce Directive, as it is more adapted to the nature of those new emerging markets.

IP3 - Cultural diversity and promotion of European and independent audiovisual production

Extension of obligations on European/independent works will be counterproductive. ETNO believes that the best way to foster production and distribution of the European works is by means of current financial programmes such as Media 2007 and e-Content Plus. Furthermore, concerning non linear services, producers are in a position to directly bring to the market their productions

IP4 - Commercial communications

As far as quantitative rules are concerned, ETNO supports the consensus which has emerged from consultations to date: the current advertising rules should be more flexible. As far as qualitative rules are concerned, specific advertising rules should continue not to apply to the non-linear services. The E-Commerce Directive already imposes a requirement for commercial communications to be clearly identified as such.

IP5 - Protection of Minors and Human Dignity, Right of Reply

ETNO agrees on the necessity to have an audiovisual market with an appropriate regulation for general interest matters such as protection of minors or right of reply, but has concerns on the juridical instruments to pursue such objectives. It is fully justified that the scope of the TVWF Directive be limited to the linear services. Important qualitative rules are already applicable to the online world through the existing European and national legislations.

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EC074 - ETNO Expert Contribution commenting on Commission Issue Papers in preparation of the review of the TVWF Directive

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