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A Perspective by Fieldfisher - Connected TV, a multi-faceted legal challenge



Germany, United States

Fieldfisher publishes a paper on the European Connected TV market focusing on the impact on broadcast regulation, data protection and copyright

Fieldfisher publishes a paper on the European Connected TV market focusing on the impact on broadcast regulation, data protection and copyright.  This is the second in series of Perspectives by Fieldfisher.

Today, TV sets provide access to digital video-on-demand and streaming services, and offer features such as electronic programme guides, personal video recorders, gaming, social networking and application stores. They deliver access to the internet in the same way that personal computers and tablets do. 

Some of the features in today’s Connected TV environment throw up new legal issues, and in this paper, Fieldfisher sets out those that relate to broadcasting regulation, data protection and copyright in turn.

Key points

  • Should a device manufacturer get to choose which channels are flagged up first when a viewer goes to the programme guide
  • Should manufacturers be permitted to increase revenues by convincing users to switch channels mid-way through a program using targeted advertising?
  • Is it right that TVs are enabled to record viewing habits and share that information with third parties?

When it comes to copyright matters, Fieldfisher also discusses whether content providers are being fairly treated if viewers are able to freely share the programmes they like with other devices, in other places, and even with other people in a network.

Dr. Philipp Plog, IP Enforcement and Protection Partner at Fieldfisher with significant experience of working in the most affected sectors and author of the report, said:

"For the Connected TV market to flourish, European regulators need to get a better handle on the rapid changes that have taken place in this market. The boom in mobile broadband, the rise of tablets and video applications and the increase in Connected TV sales have caught European regulators napping. Further developments are likely. 

"Most importantly, regulators must decide whether self-regulation is doing enough — Developments willpotentially impact device makers like Samsung, LG and Apple, rights owners and publishers/creators. In the meantime, operators, TV networks and rights owners will have to navigate through the current legal framework which does already provide some good guidance in fields such as copyright, advertising, data protection and child protection. 

Modern TV is changing, and we believe more work is needed to set out fundamental principles and frameworks for more effective oversight in a Connected TV world."

Download the full report

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