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New Forms of Digital Content Transmission: How Does Media and Copyright Law Answer to This?

June 11, 2020

Linear distribution of classical media content (broadcasting) has taken its course via terrestrial waves, before it became the core of the cable business. Direct broadcasting satellites have driven out a number of cable subscribers and found additional customers in rural areas without cable. Today the Internet allows TV distribution everywhere, including mobile or via laptop in digital quality. The patterns of traditional copyright law and the regulatory framework do not fit any longer into those new forms or at least the stakeholders and major marketplayers do not want to accept such analogy.

Once again the law has been challenged by technical changes and must find appropriate answers. One of those answers can be found in Europe's new copyright directives in a less spectacular but not less important part covering IP-TV (Internet Protocol Television) and OTT (over-the-top). Regulation is subject to some national models to treat streaming TV service providers in a less complex manner than broadcasters.

How do those various concepts tope with the issue? The webinar will compare European and US concepts and try to give an outlook of the legal scene in the next few years.


Michael Schmittmann, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, Germany
Mr Schmittmann is a partner at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, a major independent law firm with more than 400 lawyers in Berlin, Chemnitz, Cologne, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart and Zurich.  Mr Schmittmann has been in professional practice in Düsseldorf since 1989, with emphasis on telecommunications and IT, broadcasting and entertainment law. He also has expertise in national and EC competition law.  Mr Schmittmann has represented prestigious broadcasters in Germany and at EU level. He has represented many national and international telecommunications licence applicants, including the successful bidders during the UMTS auction in Germany in 2000, WLL frequency bidders in 1999 and DVB-T applicants in 2005-2006. He was involved in the latest mobile frequency auction in Germany (2010). Furthermore, he has special expertise in the German cable market. He is the leading expert in satellite matters owing to long-standing client relationships with various satellite operators. In addition to extensive consulting experience in the media and telecommunications industries (especially for international clients such as Eutelsat SA in France, and Time Warner/Turner and Oracle in the USA), Mr Schmittmann has special knowledge in the field of online gambling law. He is editor of a series for European gambling law. His most recent core work relates to IPTV/OTT platforms such as Zattoo or TV Spielfilm, the leading German electronic programme guide of Burda News, which now also offers live TV.  Mr Schmittmann is head of the IP, media and technology group of Heuking. He is an active member of ITech Law (International Technology Law Association). 

Joshua Bobeck, Morgan Lewis, United States
Joshua M. Bobeck represents technology and communications industry clients in corporate transactions, regulatory proceedings, and litigation. His practice includes representing investors and companies regarding cross-border investments before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and, with respect to foreign ownership of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulated businesses, before the Team Telecom agencies, including negotiating mitigation agreements. Joshua also represents clients in a wide range of litigation matters before federal and state courts and state public service commissions, and in regulatory matters before the FCC.  In his transactional practice, Joshua advises a broad range of companies, investors, and lenders on the regulatory aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and debt financings. In particular, he counsels communications industry clients regarding FCC and state utility commission approvals as well as requirements specific to cross-border transactions such as the CFIUS and Team Telecom review processes.  Joshua represents communications companies in key proceedings before the FCC regarding  intercarrier  compensation, network neutrality, pole attachments, broadband, and Internet Protocol(IP)–enabled services. He has also represented wireline, wireless, broadband, and VoIP communications companies in appeals of FCC decisions, commercial litigation, and interconnection agreement and pole attachment disputes.