Newspaper websites as audiovisual media services: the New Media Online GmbH preliminary ruling

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Series Details Vol.42, No.1, February 2017, p92-100
Publication Date February 2017
ISSN 0307-5400
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Abstract

In the preliminary reference in New Media Online GmbH , the Austrian Supreme Administrative Court asked the Court of Justice for its interpretation of the material scope of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive .

In its balanced and pragmatic ruling, the Court rejected AG Szpunar’s Opinion, and held that compilations of short videos provided by newspaper websites may fall within the Directive’s scope.

This judgment constitutes a first step towards a levelling of the playing-field online against the backdrop of the increased technological convergence between broadcasting and the press. It sends a strong message that a substantive, public interest driven approach should guide the interpretation and forthcoming revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive , not formalistic criteria or entrenched regulatory divides between different sectors.

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