Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Graham Smith on AVMS 2: “Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values”

The Green Paper is a typical Commission mixture of current technology trends (dual screening gets a mention), market statistics leavened with a few anecdotes, lobbyists’ issues of the moment and hints of interventions that the Commission may have in mind for the future.  These are all underpinned by an unwavering belief in the efficacy of State-led intervention to achieve the Commission’s chosen public policy objectives.
As is de rigeur in documents such as this, the Commission has a grand vision“to seize the opportunity of this changing technological environment to ensure the widest possible access to European diversified content for all Europeans and, the widest choice of high quality offers”.  That hints of a more interventionist Fortress Europe attitude than the Commission’s December 1997 Convergence Green Paper (PDF): “This first step is intended to pave the way for the development of an appropriate regulatory environment which will facilitate the full achievement of the opportunities offered by the Information Society, in the interests of Europe and its citizens as the 21st century begins.”
Beyond the grand vision there is some fairly controversial stuff in the new Green Paper, particularly around the possibility of extending the Audiovisual MediaServices Directive both in scope and to non-EU service providers.