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Veille éditoriale

Le Cercle Français de Droit des Médias et de la Culture signale volontiers en ces pages des études et des réflexions portant sur l’audiovisuel, le cinéma, l’internet et le multimédia, la Presse et le journalisme, les biens culturels et la propriété intellectuelle, les arts, les spectacles, la police des discours, etc.

Collectif, Journal of Media Law , Volume 2 - Issue 2, 2010.

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Kirsty Hughes, “No Reasonable Expectation of Anonymity ?”, Journal of Media Law, Volume 2, Number 2, December 2010 , pp. 169-181.

This commentary critiques The Author of a Blog v Times Newspapers [2009] EWHC 1358 (QB), [2009] EMLR 22 in which Eady J held that English law does not protect the anonymity of a blogger because blogging is a ’public activity’. It argues that Eady J too readily concluded that the claimant had ’no reasonable expectation of privacy’, whereas this case required further consideration of a number of difficult questions about the relationship between ’privacy’ ’anonymity’ and ’identity’, and guidance on some of these issues could have been sought from the Article 8 ECHR Strasbourg jurisprudence.
The commentator argues that anonymity-related interests can easily be accommodated into the misuse of private information cause of action. The misuse of private information cause of action asks whether the claimant had a reasonable expectation of privacy — and the commentator argues that where an individual has chosen to remain anonymous and has taken steps to ensure that his or her identity is not disclosed, this should be relevant to the question of whether the claimant had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Finally, the commentator argues that anonymity is a state of public privacy, and that one can only experience anonymity if one is to some extent interacting with or exposed to others. Thus to conclude that there is no expectation of anonymity if one is engaging in a public activity is to seriously curtail anonymity.

Jenny Afia and Phil Hartley, “Lord Lester’s Defamation Bill 2010 : A Practical Analysis”, Journal of Media Law, Volume 2, Number 2, December 2010 , pp. 183-197.

This article critically analyses Lord Lester’s 2010 Defamation Bill which is proposed as the basis for the government’s draft Defamation Bill in 2011. The article looks at the potential practical impact of some of the Bill’s provisions and highlights certain issues that would arise for the public and media alike if the Bill in its current form were to become law. The discussion covers responsible publication on matters of public interest ; honest comment ; the multiple publication rule ; the ability of corporations to sue ; a requirement that the claimant prove substantial harm ; changes to the law on qualified privilege ; and the question of publication outside the jurisdiction. The article also briefly considers what has been omitted from the Bill and whether, overall, its introduction would serve the public interest.

Rachael Craufurd Smith, “Reflections on the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative : A Template for Modern Media Law Reform ?”, Journal of Media Law, Volume 2, Number 2, December 2010 , pp. 199-211.

This note explains the origins of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (’IMMI’) and the various legal initiatives Iceland will be undertaking to give it effect. It distinguishes the IMMI from earlier programmes of media law reform, such as that carried out in Luxembourg in 2004, focusing on the IMMI’s broad reach to encompass new and user-generated as well as more mainstream media. The note concludes by considering some of the challenges that countries face when seeking to establish a ’safe haven’ for the media in today’s networked world and what influence the IMMI is likely to have on projects of law reform in other countries.

Karen Donders and Marie Lamensch, “The Introduction of a ‘Tax-and-Fund’ System to Subsidise Public Television in France : Cultural Revolution or Legal Swamp ?”, Journal of Media Law, Volume 2, Number 2, December 2010 , pp. 227-244.

In January 2008, President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy proposed to abolish all advertising on the public television channels of France Télévisions. On 5 March 2009, a new law on public television was adopted. The law introduces the gradual suppression of advertising on the public television channels. Moreover, it provides that lost advertising revenues are to be publicly compensated on the basis of two new taxes levied on media and telecommunications companies. This ’tax-and-fund’ system significantly alters the funding basis of France Télévisions. It also raises questions in light of the European State aid rules and the telecommunications directives. The article studies the legal implications of the new law, consecutively addressing its use of vague concepts, the analysis by the European Commission on the basis of the Broadcasting Communication and its telecommunications framework. It concludes that the new law can be considered a legal swamp, while having little impact on public service outcomes.