At the end of 2011, the European Commission will report for the first time on the application of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The Commission’s letters to member states asking for information in this connection were unusually long and detailed, thus indicating the difficulties experienced in incorporating the Directive into domestic law. These difficulties mainly arise with respect to regulating non-linear audiovisual media services.
For this reason, in April 2011 the European Audiovisual Observatory and the Institute for European Media Law invited 25 experts on audiovisual media law to a workshop at which an assessment was made of the situation with regard to the regulation of on-demand audiovisual services. The principal questions for discussion were how the new provisions on the scope of the Directive have been incorporated into domestic law and how member states have handled the possibility of promoting the self- or co-regulation of on-demand audiovisual services.
The papers on which the workshop was based and a detailed report on the discussions that followed the various contributions are summarised in this IRIS Special and form a comprehensive overview of the possible regulation. After reading this IRIS Special, the somewhat provocative question in the title, “Chaos or Coherence?”, can probably be answered by establishing that the regulatory landscape in Europe is characterised by both chaos and coherence.