Over a number of years which I have spent both researching and teaching Information Technology (IT) law in Europe, one thing struck me as significant: it is often difficult for non-professionals to understand both how IT laws are made in the EU and what implications these laws might have. The purpose of this blog is to help bridge this gap for anybody who is not a lawyer but needs some understanding of the issues involved.
First, in a series of shorter posts, I will attempt to explain the basics of EU law and policymaking in the area that might tentatively be called EU Cyberlaw. These posts will explore the sources, the interplay between institutions, comparative perspectives and literature. Second, I will comment on current policy issues in the world of EU Cyberlaw. The EU has recently completed a number of law reforms in this area, including a revision of the EU Telecommunications package and of data protection rules. Many more are on their way, among them the reforms of the Audio Video Media Services framework, the copyright reform and the introduction of new contract rules for digital contracts.
Since cyberworld concerns both the carrier (broadband, mobile technology, fixed telephony, cable and satellite) and the content (media, web sites, TV programs, etc.), I will attempt to cover both. Traditionally, the former has been the subject of a discipline called Telecommunications Law. The second falls under a number of disciplines, most significant of which are electronic commerce law and media law. Links to relevant documents will be provided wherever they are available. Comments are welcome.