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 The EPC Members' Newsletter


Legislative update 103 Month - October 2001

1.1 International cybercrime treaty due to enter into force soon
1.2 EU Cybercrime Forum
1.3 Committee adopts Cappato's report
1.4 Business appeals to Commission on data flow protection
1.5 European Extra-Judicial Network launched
1.6 Commission approves web accessibility guidelines
1.7 eConfidence agreement reached

2.1 Parliamentarians discuss Tackling Harmful Content on the Internet
2.2 eContent to launch second call for proposals

3.1 German Copyright Law threatens EU Publishing sector
3.2 Deeplinking cases

4.1 Japan Tobacco files suit against EU
4.2 BEUC opposes Sales Promotion Regulation
4.3 Legal Affairs Committee to lead Tobacco Advertising Directive
4.4 Hearing arranged for 7th December on Green Paper on Consumer Protection

5.1 Council of Europe adopts audiovisual heritage Convention
5.2 Exchange of views on the STOA report on Globalisation and Cultural Diversity
5.3 Commission adopts Communication on State Aid and Broadcasting
5.4 Culture Committee adopts report on Circulation of European Films
5.5 UNESCO Conference on Cultural Diversity continues
5.6 Report adopted on Services of General Economic Interest
5.7 Council resolution on audiovisual policy
5.8 Oxford University to conduct research into Internet and media self- regulation in Europe

6.1 Market Abuse Hearing and news
6.2 Communication on Company Taxation adopted
6.3 Agreement reached on Postal Liberalisation
6.4 Hearing on Hague conference proposal on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgements
6.5 Telecoms 2nd Reading in Parliament
6.6 Own initiative report on packaging waste
6.7 European Paper Week
6.8 Study on exhaustion of trademark rights
6.9 EPC submission on Contract Law

Dates for your diary

5th - Culture Council in Brugges
5th - Market Abuse to be discussed again in Committee
9-13th - WTO Ministerial in Doha
12th - Ministerial Conference on Sport
15th& 16th Conference on Media Concentration and Diversifcation of Services
15th & 16th - EASA old and new board meetings
16th - Justice and Home Affairs Council
26th - Duty to Trade Fairly Alliance meeting
26th - Internal Market and Consumer Council

3&4th - EPC meeting in Dublin
7th - Hearing on Green Paper on Consumer Protection

Note: See for all Presidency events

General enquiries: Angela Mills
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 310 732
Facsimile: +44 (0)1865 310 739
Annabella Coldrick
Telephone: +32 2 231 1299
Facsimile: +32 2 230 7658

Press Enquiries: Heidi Lambert
Telephone: +32 2 732 5546
Facsimile: +32 2 735 3603

1 Electronic commerce

1.1 International Cybercrime Treaty due to enter into force soon
The first international convention on cybercrime has been approved by the Council of Europe Ministers' Deputies, and will be presented to the foreign affairs ministers in Strasbourg on 8 November. The signing will take place at an international conference in Budapest at the end of that month. It will enter into force when at least three Member State countries of the Council of Europe have ratified it and the US is expected to be one of the non Member State countries due to sign. The Convention aims to establish a common criminal policy on the misuse of computer networks and electronic information for terrorist or illegal activity.

1.2 EU Cybercrime Forum
The European Commission is preparing an expert meeting of the EU-Forum, which is established within the framework of the Communication on Computer-related Crime. The purpose of the expert meeting will be to discuss issues related with the subject of traffic data retention.
In addition the European Commission is planning to organize a plenary session of the EU-Forum on Cybercrime, to discuss the same matter, on the 27th November 2001.

1.3 Committee adopts Cappato's report
The Citzens' Rights Committee has adopted the second report by Marco Cappato on a draft directive on processing personal information and privacy in the electronic communications sector. The Committee decided to leave it to Member States to decide whether the sending of unsolicited e-mail for marketing purposes should be subject to prior consent by the recipient (the "opt-in" solution) or whether the sending of such e-mails be authorised so long as the recipient does not express opposition (the "opt-out" solution). However, MEPs want marketing by fax, SMS or automatic calling systems to only be authorised with the express prior consent of the recipients, and they call for subscribers to have the right to demand that their names be removed from mailing lists ("opt-out"). The report will be voted in November plenary session.

1.4 Business appeals to Commission on data flow protection
Seven international business associations have appealed to the Commission to take into account the alternative clauses they have proposed with regard to alternative contractual safeguards for data flows between the EU and the rest of the world. Although they welcome the work the Commission has done in this area, they feel that the Commission's clauses impose responsibilities on data importers and exporters that Ôexceed the adequate level of data protection' required in the EU Data Protection Directive for international data transfers.

1.5 European Extra-Judicial Network launched
The pilot phase of the EEJ-Net has been launched by DG SANCO in collaboration with the Belgian Presidency. It will serve as a network for settling consumer disputes out of court and is made up of so-called Ôclearing houses' or central contact points in the different Member States, Norway and Iceland where consumers can access information on the out of court resolution systems available in different countries. The EEJ-Net will be established permanently later in 2002. More Information is available on request.

1.6 Commission approves web accessibility guidelines
On September 25, 2001, the European Commission adopted a Communication on improving the accessibility of public web sites, thereby supporting European Institutions and Member States in adopting and implementing guidelines which enable people with disabilities and older people to use the Internet more easily. The Communication is based within the eEurope framework. The Commission will present this Communication to the Council. This may affect publishers' websites and how they display their content. More information available on request.

1.7 eConfidence agreement reached
BEUC and UNICE are have announced that they have reached an agreement on a European framework for e-commerce trustmark schemes. BEUC and UNICE hope the scheme will help establish an EU-wide framework for trustmarks with the support of the European Commission. The "e-Confidence initiative" launched by Commissioner Byrne in May 2000 brought together a wide group of stakeholders to seek how to stimulate consumer confidence in e-commerce. Following these discussions, BEUC and UNICE agreed to work jointly to find common ground to enhance consumer confidence in trustmark schemes across Europe. The full text of the agreement can be downloaded from the BEUC and UNICE websites, and

2 Internet (content) regulation

2.1 Parliamentarians discuss Tackling Harmful Content on the Internet
At the E-PING meeting on 10 October, the group discussed tackling harmful content on the Internet. Discussions covered Commission initiatives in the field of child pornography, child protection on the internet, the idea of content rating and the role of hotlines in combating harmful and illegal content on the internet. A report of the proceedings and copies of presentations are available on request.

2.2 eContent to launch second call for proposals
With funds in the region of EUR 30 million, eContent will launch its second call for proposals in November. The fund is due to cover specific action lines such as improving access to public sector information, enhancing content production in a multilingual and multicultural environment and increasing dynamism of the digital content market. For further information see

3 Copyright

3.1 German Copyright Law threatens EU publishing sector
The German government is due to adopt copyright legislation that will allow authors or artists to sue media companies should they feel they have been unfairly remunerated. The main problem lies not only in the fact that there exists no precise definition for Ôfair remuneration', but the law will permit claims retrospectively which could date back to the past twenty years. This not only poses serious threats to the German publishing sector but has serious implications for the EU. More information available on request

3.2 Deeplinking cases
The Court of Hamburg has ruled that displaying a link to an online lexicon by incorporating the lexicon in the sites of the person setting the link represents a reproduction of the parts of a database and so comes under Section 16 of the German Copyright Act. This pertains even if the owner of the database has given his consent to a direct link. Reference LG Hamburg, decision of Feb 22nd 2001. Additionally, the Court of Cologne has stated that the displaying of deep links prejudices the database owner's legitimate interests unreasonably by causing significant damage to his investment as business activity online is party funded by advertising banners not accessed by the deep link. Reference LG Koeln, Decision of February 28th 2001.

4 Advertising

4.1 Japan Tobacco files suit against EU
Japan Tobacco Inc. has taken action against the EU Tobacco Labelling directive for banning such marketing terms as Ômild' and Ôlight'. The action has been taken in a bid to protect their largest cigarette brand, Mild Seven. However, it has since been announced that Tobacco companies have agreed a global ban on the advertising of cigarettes on radio and TV. Also, new marketing standards agreed between British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco will see and end to tobacco sponsorship of major sporting events such as F1.

4.2 BEUC opposes Sales Promotion Regulation
Although BEUC have welcomed the Green Paper on Consumer Protection, they have claimed that the Sales Promotion Regulation pre-empts the debate on what direction EU consumer policy should take and is wholly inflexible. They have called for it to be withdrawn. The Belgian Presidency held a conference on Consumer Protection on 4-6 October and a speeches and a report from this are available on request.

4.3 Legal Affairs Committee to lead Tobacco Advertising Directive
The Legal Affairs Committee has been given responsibility for writing the report on the Tobacco Advertising Directive, and the appointed Rapporteur is Mr Medina Ortega. Opinions will be given by the Environment and Culture Committees. It is thought the first discussion will probably take place on 21st November

4.4 Hearing arranged for 7th December on Green Paper on Consumer Protection
At a meeting of the Duty to Trade Fairly Alliance meeting, Carina Tornbloem (Head of Unit, Consumers' legal, economic and other interests) announced that the Commission will hold a hearing on 7th December for those interested in the Green Paper on Consumer Protection. She also called for the support of industry in backing the proposal as Consumer Groups have criticised the coregulation aspect of the proposal. They stated that they do not have enough resources and they do not want to do the job of the Commission in actually writing the legislation. More information on request.

5 Audiovisual and general media policy

5.1 Council of Europe endorses audiovisual heritage Convention
The European Convention on the protection of broadcasting heritage and its Protocol on protecting television programmes, has been endorsed by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers. The 43 Council of Europe Member States will be asked to sign soon, together with Belarus, Monaco, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Holy Sea. For more information see

5.2 Exchange of views on the STOA report on Globalisation and Cultural Diversity
The Parliament Committee on Culture, Youth, Media and Sport held a discussion on the STOA report on Globalisation and Cultural Diversity. The Chair expressed no intention to discuss the report again, but said he hope it would be an inspiration to MEP's for future initiatives.

5.3 Commission adopts Communication on State Aid and Broadcasting
The Commission is in the process of finalising a Communication that explains how State Aid rules are applied to funding of public service broadcasters. It has been suggested that DG EAC had given in to intensive lobbying by the BBC and EBU over the question of independent regulation of the BBC. The text has been changed to accommodate BBC Governors. A copy of the text will be available on request.

5.4 Culture Committee adopts report on Circulation of European Films
The Culture Committee has adopted an own initiative report on the Circulation of European Films. The report calls on the Commission to consider

(a) introducing a framework for TV broadcasters to devote a minimum proportion of transmission time to promoting European films,
(b) introducing a framework for transmission of non-national, European works,
(c) introducing a framework for TV broadcasters to invest part of their annual turnover in the European Film Industry. A copy of the adopted text is available on request.

5.5 UNESCO Conference on Cultural Diversity Continues
At the UNESCO General Conference, which will continue to 3 November, one of the principal items on the agenda is a new legal instrument designed to safeguard cultural diversity in the age of globalization. Details on this will be provided in the next EPC Tracker.

5.6 Report adopted on Services of General Economic Interest
The Services of General Economic Interest Report was finally adopted in EMAC, and will now go to Plenary to be adopted. In the meantime the Commission has produced its report on Services of General Interest to the Laeken European Council. With regard to State Aid, the Commission will first establish guidelines in 2002 for state aid granted for services of general economic interest and then adopt legislation exempting certain types of aid from the obligation of prior notification to the Commission. A copy of the adopted EP text and the Commission report for Laeken are available on request.

5.7 Council resolution on audiovisual policy
The Audiovisual Council Working Group have been preparing a resolution which responds to the Commission Communication on legal aspects of the Cinema Sector. The text is supportive of the Commission's actions and calls for them to go further. This should be adopted at the Culture Council on 5th Novmeber. Meanwhile the Belgian Presidency organized 4 seminars in Mons on registry of audiovisual works and improved distribution of programs; the role of State aid; challenges to restarting WTO negotiations and the specific role of regional funds and the banking and finance sectors. More information is available on request.

5.8 Oxford University to conduct research into Internet and media self- regulation in Europe
The Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford (PCMLP) has been awarded a contract by the European Commission for a three-year research project under the Action Plan on promoting safer use of the Internet (Safer Internet Action Plan). The study, referred to as IAPCODE, aims to conduct research into self-regulatory efforts in various media in Europe and will also assist self- regulatory bodies in developing and implementing their codes of conduct. The research will not only cover the Internet but also ensure a comparative approach covering film and video, videogames, digital television and WAP technology. More information is available on request.

6 General

6.1 Market Abuse Hearing and news
The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Market Abuse Directive on 15th October. During the hearing three experts conveyed their views on the draft directive and reached no consensus on the question of intent (as opposed to effect based criteria). MEPs still seem to find it difficult to distinguish between straight news reporting and journalists acting illegally. The Commission remain convinced their approach which states that Member States may introduce special provisions for the media follows the principle of subsidiarity. Theresa Villiers has since written to EPC to say she is now aware there is a problem and that she wishes to look at the problem of an effect based definition which could penalise all those acting innocently, journalists or not. A full report of the hearing is available on request.

6.2 Communication on Company Taxation adopted
At the adoption of the European Company Statute by the Social Affairs Council on 8th October Fritz Bolkestein announced the presentation of a communication on company taxation by DG Markt. This proposes a two track strategy to remove tax obstacles in the internal market. It initially suggests a set of targeted measures with a longer term aim of a consolidated corporate tax base for companies' EU wide activities. This would lead to greater efficiency, effectiveness, simplicity and transparency in company tax systems. Two preferred options are put forward (both leaving it up to Member States to determine the applicable national corporate tax rates): (a) Home State taxation: tax base would be computed in accordance with the tax code of the company's home State; (b) A common tax base: devise completely new harmonised EU rules for the determination of a single tax base on the European level. The Commission will now launch a broad debate on the future of company taxation. In the first half of 2002, the Commission will organise a 'European Company Tax Conference' and in 2003, the Commission intends to report on its subsequent policy conclusions. More information available on request.

6.3 Agreement reached on Postal Liberalisation
The Telecoms Council met on 15th and 16th October and agreed two new phases of postal liberalisation in 2003 and 2006. However they were still unable to agree an official date for the complete opening up of the market to competition as France declared they would not give up protecting their public service. By the end of 2007 they will decide either to move further forwards in liberalising the market or the total opening of the market in 2009. Meanwhile the Postal Users Group (of which EPC is a member) has been asked to comment on the REIMS II agreement by providing it with information on the impact on the market for large postal users. The Commission has prepared a questionnaire and requests interested EPC members to fill it in. More information on postal liberalisation and the Commission questionnaire is available on request.

6.4 Hearing on Hague conference proposal on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgements
A hearing took place in Brussels at the end of October on the latest draft text from the Hague Conference on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgements. The General Affairs and Policy Commission will meet again in January 2002 to discuss whether to go ahead with the Convention at all, to pursue a mixed treaty or limit it to a single forum. It is possible the Convention could just cover B2B contracts and not B2C which some people argued for. At the meeting representatives pushed for the inclusion of copyright in the Convention as it would make it easier for rights holders to pursue infringements in countries around the world. A major issue is the presence of an Article on Torts (article 10) which includes defamation. If the text was passed this would mean that defamation cases against European Publishers could be held in any of the 55 signatory countries and then enforced in Europe. This could clearly lead to dangerous results and extends EPCs concerns about the Rome II regulation to a global scale. EPC will be submitting comments to the Commission on the draft, a copy of the text is available on request.

6.5 Telecoms 2nd Reading in Parliament
The Telecoms package (excluding the ISDN Directive) has returned to the Parliament for the 2nd reading. A common debate took place in the Committee on Industry, a Commission spokesman stated that the Commission did not accept the Common Position of the Council in particular Article 6. The deadline for amendments is 14th November and the vote in Committee is scheduled for the 21st. Mr van Velzen stated that the Parliament should trust the industry as far as digital TV was concerned and not reintroduce amendments mandating a common standard MHP. More information is available on request.

6.6 Own initiative report on packaging waste
The Environment Committee is producing an own initiative report on the implementation of the packaging waste directive which states that although the directive has been implemented in most member states both the UK and Greece have been threatened with court action. Recycling targets for all materials except for plastics have been received. The report calls for producer responsibility and the introduction of recycling targets. A copy of the draft report and a briefing on its history is available on request.

6.7 European Paper Week
The Confederation of European Paper Industries has scheduled a number of meetings in Brussels during European Paper week 27-30th November. CEPI has also produced a new version of European Pulp and Paper which focuses on the annual report on the fulfilment of the European Declaration on Paper Recovery. This provides indications on the increased recycling rate and monitors the agreement. A copy of the CEPI newsletter and more information about European Paper Week is available on request.

6.8 Study on exhaustion of trademark rights
MEPs have requested that the Commission prepare a study on the implications of change in the exhaustion of the trademark rights regime and prepare a report by 31st December 2002. The current regime of EU-wide exhaustion to a system of international exhaustion would permit "parallel imports" from third countries. At present trademark holders can prevent imports of goods which have been put on the market for the first time outside of the community and some Member States believe this is used as a way to maintain high prices. The Commission have already run a study on this issue which was published in May 2000 and concluded that a change in the regime would not lead to a fall in consumer prices.

6.9 EPC submission on Contract Law
EPC has now formally responded to the Commission's consultation document on Contact Law. The paper says that option 1, i.e. to leave the solution of any identified problem to the market is the only reasonable alternative. Any additional requirements would interfere with freedom to contract. A copy of the submission is available on request.

6.10 Parliament completes second reading on worker consultation proposal
On 23rd October the European Parliament has approved a new directive on workers' consultation with several additional amendments that have disappointed business leaders. The directive will give employees the right to be consulted over business decisions that affect them and the EP's amendments include the right of delay in certain situations. The amended text must now be approved by the Member States. The UK employers confederation, the CBI, has said that it is "deeply concerned" by the European Parliament's proposals to strengthen the workers' consultation legislation. CBI deputy director-general John Cridland said "We strongly believe in proper consultation but these proposals are a recipe for grinding business decision making to a halt." More information on request

Upcoming Conferences of relevance to EPC members:

Digital Rights Management Seminar
Organised by Van Dsseldorf and Partners and to be held in Amsterdam on 20 November 2001, the seminar will cover developments in the digital rights management market, for rights holders including publishers and broadcasters, as well as new media professionals They are organising another seminar entitled ÔDigital Content Europe - winning strategies for online entertainment' which will be held in Liverpool Town Hall on 28 November 2001.

Conference on Media Concentration and Diversification of Services
On Nov. 15-16 (afternoon of 15 and morning of 16), the Belgian Presidency (Minister of Fine Arts, Letters and Audiovisual, Richard Miller) is sponsoring a conference on: The audio-visual public service sector confronted with concentration and diversification of services." Themes of the panels are: Approach of the concentrations -How to adapt? Speakers include Gina Nieri, Marc Tessier and Fritz Pleitgen or ARD New services and public service remit (includes EBU, film producer, and Astrid Thors) Organization and Financing - includes JMBaer, VRT rep, BBC rep and RAI. Contact Joelle Etienne for more information

European Forum on Harmful and Illegal Cyber Content:
Self- Regulation, User protection and Media Competence

The above meeting will take place on 28 November in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg. For further details see,

Council of Europe Expert Seminar on Broadcasting
The Council of Europe will be holding an Expert Seminar on "The Economic, Technical and other Developments in the Television Sector and their Impact on the European Convention on Transfrontier Television" in Strasbourg on 6 December 2023 at the Human Rights Building. The seminar will cover the following topics: What future for broadcasting in the digital era? New advertising techniques; Cultural objectives; Programme standards and human dignity; the future of broadcasting regulation at national and European levels. For more information see

ECTA's second annual European Telecoms Regulatory Policy Conference in Brussels at the Conrad International on 19th and 20th November.

The Regulatory Conference provides a forum for Europe's telecoms industry, regulators and policy-makers to explore and debate the key regulatory issues that affect us all. Speakers include Els de Clercq, Chef de Cabinet from the Belgian Presidency, Robert Verrue, Director General of DG Info Soc, and Reino Paasilinna MEP, the Parliament's rapperteur on the Framework Directive, all speaking on the first day - immediately before Parliament's industry committee takes its key votes. See

General enquiries: Angela Mills
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 310 732
Facsimile: +44 (0)1865 310 739
Annabella Coldrick
Telephone: +32 2 231 1299
Facsimile: +32 2 230 7658

Press Enquiries: Heidi Lambert
Telephone: +32 2 732 5546
Facsimile: +32 2 735 3603

Documents available on request to EPC members:
(for documents dating before 2001 see old EPC newsletters)

European Commission
- Commission Communication on the creation of an internal market in Services
- Television Without Frontiers Report
- Brussels Regulation
- Draft Rome II proposal
- Final Communication on Services of General Interest
- Liikanen speech on "broadcasting and eEurope" at EBU 27th March
- Reding speech on "L'audiovisuel de service public et les technologies numeriques" at EBU on 27th March
- Communication on review of the packaging waste directive
- Communication on third generation mobile report
- Draft directive on Competition in the market for electronic communications services
- Draft guidelines on the application of competition principles to telecommunications
- Data Protection Working Party opinion on the draft convention on Cybercrime
- Interim Report on simplifying the regulatory environment
- WTO speeches by Pascal Lamy and Mike Moore.
- Global Competition Forum speech by Mario Monti
- Second Annual Review of Internal Market Strategy
- Speech by Mario Monti on Competition in the new economy
- Commission decision on Hearing Officer's role in Merger cases
- Draft Directive on Tobacco advertising
- Draft Directive on Market Manipulation
- Copyright Directive Final Text
- Decision on Contractual Clauses for personal data
- Publishing Study by DG Enterprise and Eurostat
- DG Sanco paper on Nutritional Claims
- White Paper on Governance (July 2001)
- Green Paper on Consumer Protection
- Draft Regulation on Sales Promotion
- Communication on Contract Law
- Speech by Viviane Redding on Legal Aspects of the Cinema Sector
- Communication on Legal Aspects of the Cinema Sector

European Parliament
- 1st reading text on the Telecoms Framework Directive
- 1st reading text on the Access and Interconnection Directive
- 1st reading text on authorisation of electronic networks
- Adopted text on the competitiveness of the Forest Based Industries
- Committee report Universal Service
- Organisation and Management of the Internet Report 1996-2000
- Wallis report on "out of court settlements of consumer disputes"
- Report on drinking of alcohol by children
- Own-initiative report on Human Rights
- Adopted emergency resolution on Press Freedom
- Data Protection in the European Union Guide
- DG Sanco study "EC Consumer Law and the Information Society"
- TWF report documents from Parliament's Culture, Industry and Environment Committee
- Parliament Report on Reform of Articles 81 and 82
- Ecommerce and Financial Services Parliament adopted text
- Third Report on the Application of the TWF directive (Parliament opinion)
- Parliament Own-initiative report on European Cultural Cooperation
- Draft report on Circulation of European Film
- Draft report on Services of General Interest

- Treaty of Nice
- Adopted text on the Copyright Directive
- Stockholm Council Conclusions 23-24th March
- Internal Market Council Conclusions 12rh March
- Agreement on manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products
- Ecofin Council Conclusions 15th June
- Culture Council Conclusions 21st June
- Telecoms Council Conclusions 27th June
- Internal Market Conclusions 27th September
- Common Positions on 4 Telecoms Directives; Access and Interconnection; Framework; Universal Service; Authorisations

- FEDMA draft code of conduct on direct marketing by SMS
- WTO document on "GATS: fact or fiction"
- Report from Postal Users Group meeting on CEN standards
- WIPO Interim Report
- Socialist report on Governance
- FEDMA letter on costs for internet users
- EBU Conference Speeches
- European Services Forum paper on domestic regulation
- European Commercial Communications Forum report
- Fern report "behind the logo"
- Belgian Presidency's plan for Audio-visual
- ICC code on Environmental Advertising revision
- WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright May 7th-11th report
- US proposal to GATS on advertising
- Brazil, Japan, US and Swiss proposals to GATS on audiovisual
- PUG letter on the REIMS II revision
- PUG Declaration
- CEPI annual report

Council of Europe
- Draft Treaty on Cybercrime (final version)
- Protection of Broadcasting Heritage document