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Open Access 2021 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

Introduction: New Paradigms of Media Regulation in a Transatlantic Perspective

verfasst von : Sorin Adam Matei, Franck Rebillard, Fabrice Rochelandet

Erschienen in: Digital and Social Media Regulation

Verlag: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

To claim that communication technology and practices have undergone a tremendous shift over the past 30 years is a self-evident understatement. However, the same cannot be said about our regulatory framework—the product of political and economic ideas several centuries old. Thus, the worlds of communication practice and communication policy-making often are at odds. While it would be easy to claim new material forces demand new laws, the reality is our traditional media customs and laws are rooted in values, needs, and long-term projects that cannot be changed without impacting our entire way of life. Many facets of everyday life rely on this existing framework: individual autonomy, creativity, rule-based interactions, and fairness. A core challenge for technologists, legislators, and policymakers is to integrate new ways of communicating within the existing framework of values and practices in such a way that current values are preserved while specific regulatory practices are updated to match today’s technological, economic, and cultural norms.
Hinweise
The original version of this chapter was revised: The chapter has been changed from non-open access to open access and the copyright holder has been updated. The correction to this chapter is available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​978-3-030-66759-7_​11
The original version of this chapter was revised: The spelling of the author name has been changed from “Fabienne Graff” to “Fabienne Graf”. The correction to this chapter is available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​978-3-030-66759-7_​10
To claim that communication technology and practices have undergone a tremendous shift over the past 30 years is a self-evident understatement. However, the same cannot be said about our regulatory framework—the product of political and economic ideas several centuries old. Thus, the worlds of communication practice and communication policy-making often are at odds. While it would be easy to claim new material forces demand new laws, the reality is our traditional media customs and laws are rooted in values, needs, and long-term projects that cannot be changed without impacting our entire way of life. Many facets of everyday life rely on this existing framework: individual autonomy, creativity, rule-based interactions, and fairness. A core challenge for technologists, legislators, and policymakers is to integrate new ways of communicating within the existing framework of values and practices in such a way that current values are preserved while specific regulatory practices are updated to match today’s technological, economic, and cultural norms.
This volume examines these issues from a specific lens: that which intends to preserve diversity of production systems and respects the variety of consumption patterns. In doing so, we cover four core regulatory issues: intellectual property (copyright, especially), privacy, media diversity, and freedom of expression. The contributors to this volume examine the evolution of regulatory domains and their rules under the pressure of social-cultural practice, technological innovation, economic mechanisms, and legal constraints. More importantly, our contributors offer new cross-cultural approaches, grounded in our modern discourse, to processing and challenging the interplay between these social, legal, and economic forces (Schwanholz et al. 2017).
The authors propose several emerging solutions for re-aligning regulation with practical realities defined by technology, economics, and politics. In this context, we must emphasize that regulation is not seen only as a narrow set of limiting rules or enforceable laws that prescribe strictly and punitively certain behaviors, possible paths of development, or resource allocation, rights, and obligations. This collection insists: Regulation can be more broadly defined as the structural embedding of communication practices and technology in a certain framework of values and principles. Effective regulation should be based on rules and guidelines that are socially acceptable while creating adequate incentives for individuals and organizations to respect and apply them. In this sense, regulation facilitates social, productive interaction; it is not a constraining force. Because of this, the chapters included in this volume may imagine regulation as a collection of self-regulatory, co-regulatory, or directive regulatory practices and legal structures. More importantly, regulation is seen as a necessary means toward a self-sufficient end, which is free, thriving societies in which individuals and communities can learn, do business, and express themselves in a pluralistic way to the benefit and cultural enrichment of all human beings. Values such as diversity and richness of perspectives, a creative new way to think about the present and the future, fair and supportive mechanisms for the full realization of all human beings are of paramount importance for the regulatory mechanisms analyzed in this volume (Bertot et al. 2012).
A complex problem demands an approach to match. The perspectives offered by the authors span a broad array of experiences, domains, and levels of abstraction. This heterogeneity is intentional. As we will emphasize below, the authors were selected to include basic and applied research, regulatory, educational, and practical journalism experiences. As a dual intellectual and policy-practical approach, a diversity of opinions offer a clearer picture of what the future of digital and social media regulation should or can be (Forrest and Cao 2010).
Before summarizing the individual contributions—and given the theoretical concerns that inform this volume—let us categorize the issues decided on by this volume’s authors, issues that undergird media and communication regulation in the twenty-first century. These choices are domain-specific. The contributions to the volume discuss regulation in the context of four key issues: intellectual property, privacy, freedom of expression, and media diversity. The significance of each of these issues demands both a diachronic and synchronic perspective. We must look back at the origins of these issues, their recent history, and their simultaneous interplay with technologies and communication practices. Also, as social media has been through a tremendous political upheaval during the last decade, especially in the USA, where accusation and counter-accusations of abuse and censorship abound, we need to look at the emergence of these problems in context (Brannon 2019). A good overview of these issues has been provided in the literature, which not only precedes but informs our work (Napoli 2019; Picard 2020).
To better understand the emergence of communication industry issues, we need to go back in time three decades ago (Picard 2020). The 1990s represented a major technological advancement, legislative change, and political questioning of media regulatory regimes worldwide. The liberation of the Communist nations and economic liberalization of China after 1989 opened the floodgates of communication within those nations and across borders. More important, these exchanges were turbocharged by technological innovation and economic globalization. During the 1990s, worldwide content industries abruptly switched from analog to digital dissemination of information through open and free networks, integrated into the global Internet. New markets for media products and processes spread across continents.
The immeasurable flow of digital information (and the devices that made them possible) challenged every single regulatory regime on the planet. Data started moving across media and between people, often dissolving the border between the two entities. States’ ability to consistently enforce copyright laws dwindled. Privacy expectations were affected similarly. The common consumer used mass-interpersonal media—with vast, unplumbable databases of user data—to broadcast their personal brand to anyone else who would listen. The era of newsgroups, email lists, and chatrooms evolved into social media; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Tinder, and others centralized millions of address books. Partly unintentional, partly by design, personal information from these social vectors became a new type of fuel for marketing and advertising campaigns.
Simultaneously, governments worldwide have begun to mine this information for their own purposes—preventing, sometimes inciting, violence. Yet, despite even the most ham-fisted attempts to control the media, freedom of expression evolved due to the Internet into a truly universal de facto practice. Until 1990, freedom of expression was, at the global level, a mere desideratum, inscribed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For many nations, receiving or sending information was limited to interpersonal conversations. In some, other means of communication, such as typewriters in Communist nations like Romania, were controlled or registered by the government. After 1990 due to the Internet expansion, freedom of expression has become a common practice, especially and counter-intuitively in countries that pre-Internet could easily clamp down on non-governmentally approved public conversations. From China and Russia to Iran or Cuba, information has started to flow in and out via computers, cell phones, thumb drives, satellite, and VPN networks. While a boon for well-intended activists, this freedom of expression also aided ill intended ones. The explosion in militantism and the rapid spread of violent movements on a global scale that shook the world after 9/11, 2001 couldn’t have been possible without easy and cheap access to worldwide exchanges of information via social media and content sharing platforms. In the past decade, social media campaigns have become the weapons in the global war of influence via propaganda campaigns targeting electoral processes, instigating cross-border violence, or confounding the public via fake or spun news. All these evolutions have muddied the tasks of media regulation. On the one hand, digital innovation and practices have generated endogenous social norms. For instance, with the proliferation social media-based innovation, individual users and online service providers continuously redefine the social norms of privacy, making it hard to stabilize and efficiently enforce privacy rules. On the other hand, reinforcing one key aspects of media regulation (e.g., privacy or copyright) could threaten or weaken others (e.g., freedom of speech or media diversity). Media regulation increasingly resembles a sudoku-like magic square, in which the rows and columns should add up to the same amount, a task increasingly difficult to solve.
Within this volume, the chapter authors will make reference to variable degree to a tetrad of regulatory challenges: intellectual property, privacy, freedom of expression, diversity and richness of content, and production sources. The changes in these spaces, both positive and negative, as many values in the proverbial sudoku magic square, need to be briefly recapitulated to better contextualize their contributions to the volume.

1 Intellectual Property

The abrupt switch from analog to digital content—including from broadcast to online electronic communication—deeply upset the intellectual property industry. The quasi-intangible nature of digital content raised the issue of its ownership and forced everyone to reconsider the issue of licensing IP rights. In an analog world, a physical copy of a unit of content (e.g., a CD) had material value that the owner could benefit from, including by resale. In a digital world, an mp3 song does not have any material resale value. In fact, the song is simply licensed to the user for personal use. But users did not know nor cared to know about that. In fact, the industry at-large abandoned one model of music distribution, the CD, for new forms of music consumption, such as streaming. The emergence of music sharing through peer-to-peer networks, combined with the lack of portability of legal DRM (digital management rights), and the high prices of CDs, lead the explosion of music on demand via fixed subscription services like Spotify. However, this did not solve the problem of copyright infringement. Entire movie libraries, especially of lesser known productions or popular television shows, were moved by innocent users to YouTube. A reflection of the changing public understanding of copyright, many of these illegal copies are accompanied by naïve disclaimers such as “I do not take credit for this content” or “I am sharing this content for public entertainment only, without any material gain.” Such claims ignore that it is not the money or the credit the sharer accrues or not, but the loss of revenue and control it is inflicted on the original copyright holder that matters. Furthermore, global copyright violation enterprises such as the now-defunct (but revived in other forms by other operators) Megaupload, while potentially having positive impacts such as increasing the taste for culture among Internet users, tended to counter the effort to monetize content across borders of many established and newly arrived companies.
In brief, ease of reproducing and disseminating content by non-owners of Intellectual Property fundamentally changed the way traditional licensing schemes were enforced. Laws upon laws and regulations across the world have tried to stave off the onslaught of business models and individual practices that treated copyright almost as a thing of the past, virtually unenforceable. Some of the contributions to this volume, notably Matei and Kilman, consider how the changing nature of practices and de facto arrangements has led to fundamental social and cultural changes which regulatory practices still trail.

2 Privacy

For the past several centuries, most markedly in the Western hemisphere, privacy was considered a right born out of an understanding of individual autonomy that dates to the Renaissance. Privacy is the right to withhold certain information about one’s person and private affairs. In the US context, privacy is enshrined in the Fourth Amendment, which reads: “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” This right was restated and expanded by the US Supreme Court (Griwsold vs. Connecticut, 1965). In France, it is enshrined in the Civil Code, Article 9 stating everyone has a right to respect for their private life, while the Criminal Code prescribed specific punishments including prison time for willful violation of privacy. In addition, with the emergence of computerized systems and centralized databases, a comprehensive data privacy law (Loi “informatique et libertés”) was adopted in 1978 to regulate the collection, storage, processing and use of personal data. While being quite close to the US Privacy Act of 1974, the French regulation is much more comprehensive and uses a more compulsory approach.
In essence, in the US/European tradition privacy is reducible to the proposition that individuals have the right to control if and what to disclose about oneself or one’s private life. Materially, this means that behaviors, intimate personal details, and the documents describing them that exist on one’s person or property were not to be revealed unless there was a legally justified reason (such as a search due to a criminal investigation). Furthermore, information shared with certain official or commercial institutions are protected either by laws or contractual obligations—often in the form of a Non-Disclosure Agreement. The emergence of social media, where a precondition of access is to fill out a profile with details of one’s intimate life, changed all this. Even more significant, social media communication is premised on the idea of sharing and doing things in the public view or at least in semi-public communities. While protected by legally valid and binding user agreements, the public component of social media interactions puts a lot of information in the hands of commercial enterprises. Although terms of use and other conventional means of ensuring the “privacy” of such data are provided, in all reality the information leaks out as soon as the post is made or the tweet is sent. Once materially shared on a given social medium, data from media interaction is legally admissible (read as: commercially exploitable) to copying and sharing by third parties via other media. Even when and if social media platforms come with “privacy” settings, their true nature and limitations are poorly understood. For example, the fact that content is shared only with “some friends” does not mean that the friends of those friends or for that matter the rest of humanity cannot get screenshots of one’s musings or compromising photos. Similarly, deleting content is seldom permanent, as some of the content might’ve already leaked through a network or has been archived. Many compromising tweets posted by famous or not-so-famous public figures restored from the many Twitter archives testify to this. One of the fundamental issues of the current definition of online privacy is that the current definition tends to ignore the old materiality of personal space defined by one’s own person, house, or personal possessions. Further, that these conditions cannot be entirely reproduced online. The materiality of online communication is enshrined in networks, which are by-definition shared spaces, in which privacy is hard if not impossible to protect. The contributions to this volume, including Bernisson, Curien, or Matei and Kilman, highlight these issues directly, suggesting that the industry of privacy is in flux. While the General Data Protection Regulation issued by the European Union did create a “de facto” global privacy regime, this is at the mercy of international politics. This collection proposes some ideas for regulating social media for the future, illustrating original, stimulating avenues by which to accomplish this feat (Curien, Napoli and Graf).

3 Freedom of Expression

The modern political and civic concept of freedom of expression—as recorded in the US or French constitutions—rests on the radical proposition that individual thought and speech should be protected. This means to preserve the right of every individual to seek, access, form, hold, and express ideas, even if those ideas clash with current beliefs or political arrangements. Despite some differences, these two models have created cultures of lively personal expression. One difference is the conceptual leaps made between the US Constitution First Amendment, which denies the right of the government to pre-emptively regulate print media to the French Press Law, which includes provisions that can limit some speech. This culture was, at least after World War II, adopted by many governments and memorialized in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Yet, in material practice, the ability of many people to even seek—let alone expressing freely—ideas contrary to those espoused by their governments or by the majority of the people in their nations was severely limited during the Cold War. When knowledge was bound to hard-copy books or newspapers and when radio waves were limited by frequency allocations and power limits, information could be easily denied, filtered, or ignored by gatekeepers. Similarly, expressing opinions could be easily denied by controlling the access to the enterprise-grade printing plants and broadcasting infrastructures. Digital media and global Internet fundamentally changed the rules of information exchange. As a “connectless” series of networks, the Internet is infinitely expandable. Any new local network can join the global Internet with a simple router and connection to the nearest node. Practically, even if the national infrastructure is controlled by a governmental entity that aims to limit access to some of the content, the task is so onerous it is rarely fully enforced. Despite multiple attempts, the Chinese, Iranian, or Russian Internets remain porous through a variety of technology subterfuges, from VPN and proxy gateways to spoofing IP addresses and other hacking techniques. Even though such opportunities are primarily available to technically astute users, they constitute an alternative to state-controlled media.
The ability of governments to control public discourse and to reprimand those that infringed local laws has declined significantly. The ability of citizens to protect their privacy and of governments to assist them has equally decreased. Commercial transactions across borders have expanded, at times challenging the ability of governments to levy taxes or punish tax cheats. Simultaneously, commercial transactions in the gray or underground illegal space of national and international economies have increased in frequency and the ability to control them evaporates more every day. More worrisome, the new digital, open, international order of communication allowed state and non-state actors to engage in massive operations of cross-border influence: propaganda, espionage, and at times open cyber-warfare interfere with basic utility services. In our collection Nenadić and Milosavljević monitor the efforts of the governments to keep track of and implement rules that cross borders, while Kilman and Matei analyze the challenges in imagining a trans-border regulatory regime for these issues.

4 Diversity and Richness of Content and Production Methods

The values and practices related to individual intellectual property, privacy, and freedom of expression were not adopted independent of greater social goals. One of the most important objectives was and remains: encouraging a diversity of opinions, perspectives, and creative visions. Modern social structure relies on diversity to adapt to new challenges and explore new dimensions of human life. The emergence of digital, networked global social media has created opportunities for plurality and diversity of opinions, but also challenges. The greatest net asset of the newly found digital global environment is that it encourages person-to-person communication. Indeed, one can describe the Internet as a mass-personal medium, blurring the lines between immediate, interpersonal, and mass communication. The new environment encourages many-to-many interactions, instead of one-to-many flows of content and knowledge, which has unleashed seismic waves of public and private expression. Emails, blogs, instant TV channels facilitated by YouTube, mass-viewed esports events; the number of voices and their authority to speak about matters of public importance has increased immeasurably over the past 30 years. Alongside consecrated professional commentators, journalists, entertainers, politicians, and other publicly recognized celebrities, we now have influencers—social media celebrities. Gigantic social movements have emerged from seemingly nowhere—think the Arab Spring or #metoo—expressing new points of view, advancing the common discourse. At the same time, this diversification of opinions has come at the cost of reduced visibility of individual opinions due to the fact that a narrowing range of channels and platforms disseminate these opinions. A few global platforms, mostly based in the USA (Facebook, Amazon, or Apple), have cornered various delivery markets, turning themselves into unavoidable conduits for expressing the newfound global conversation. The geographic, political, and commercial needs of these corporations raise important questions about diversity of choice and voice. While anyone can tweet, Twitter has become an arbiter of what can or should be tweeted. While any publication can be registered with Google News, Google’s algorithm decides which publications are more or less visible. The contributions to this volume, most notably by Lyubareva and Rochelandet’s, as well as Nenadić and Milosavljević’s ones, emphasize the need to reconsider the trend of “platformization” and the implicit cost in the trend for authentic diversity of both production and consumption.

5 Contributions

The specific questions our collection asks and the answers it provides about the changing nature of regulation in the global media environment occupy a necessary thematic and geographic space. The themes include: theoretical grounding for regulation (Napoli and Graf), policy-practical propositions for future regulations (Curien, Benhamou), in-depth analyses of specific regulatory practices (Bernisson, Nenadić and Milosavljević), and structural challenges present in contemporary communication structure (Lyubareva and Rochelandet, Matei and Kilman). The chapters brought together by this volume include the following contributions:
Dr. Nicolas Curien, a commissioner of the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel of France, an organization whose role is similar to that of the US Federal Communication Commission or the British Ofcom, proposes in his chapter “The Audiovisual Industry Facing the Digital Revolution:​ Understanding the Present and Inventing the Future” two propositions for understanding the current global regulatory climate. Dr. Curien is both a traditional French intellectual—a mathematician and an economist, Professor Emeritus of one of France’s Grandes Ecoles, Conservatoire national des arts et métiers—and a policy maker, a rare species in field dominated by professional politicians or lawyers. He proposes that the world media environment is as seamless as the world ocean. The Internet that makes the global media process possible might be fragmented into local subnetworks, like as many separate oceans, but their value comes from their ability to connect to the global network of networks—in the end, all one body. However, this is not to say that there are no local regulatory entities. They do exist and work to regulate the production and consumption process of the citizens or corporate entities found within the boundaries of one nation or another. However, Curien sees the local regulators as fishbowls sunken in the ocean. The communicative ocean denizens—corporations—as often hide in these waters as they venture outside: at times forgetting to come back or growing too big to return to the small local fishbowls from which they hail.
The second, perhaps more powerful, proposition offered by Dr. Curien is that: given the rapid change and the difficulty of enforcing inflexible regulations, such as those meant to guide responsible use of social media, we need to rely more and more on nudging rather than on interdicting or giving permission for certain activities. He calls this process “co-regulation,” which is an innovative way to use the old idea of relying on personal choice and sense of responsibility as a surer way to create peer-pressure for inducing expected behaviors. While Dr. Curien does not promote co-regulation as the only form of regulation, his idea is a fresh approach that strikes a middle ground between administrative enforcement of regulatory regimes and self-regulation. His plea for innovative approaches to regulation is more than a breath of fresh air, it is a truly new way to think about the future of structuring constrains and incentives in an era of rapid change and technological challenges.
Dr. Phil Napoli, James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy at Sanford School of Public Policy, and Fabienne Graf, LLM, Duke University propose in the chapter “Revisiting the Rationales for Media Regulation: The Quid Pro Quo Rationale and the Case for Aggregate Social Media User Data as Public Resource” a new way to conceptualize the public nature of networks and their data, implying the necessity of future regulatory strategies. The chapter asks if we can consider data aggregated by social media as a type of public resource, and if this new perspective can be used as a quid pro quo rationale to regulate it in the manner used for regulating broadcasting. Then, the chapter explains how and why this rationale can be applied to social media. The concluding section considers the implications of this argument specifically for contemporary diversity-related policy objectives. Overall, the chapter proposes that regulation may carry over many concepts and principles from older to newer technologies. While not prescriptive directions, instead an angle of philosophy, this contribution offers the necessary abstract thinking about the nature of data and regulation.
Maud Bernisson, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Karlstad, Sweden, contributes the chapter “GDPR and New Media Regulation:​ The Data Metaphor and the EU Privacy Protection Strategy,” in which she continues Napoli and Graf’s exploration of social media as a public goods creator, diving deeper into the specific meaning attached to “data” when utilized in EU regulatory actions and documents. She proposes that while there are tangible referents for the “data” concept used in privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) directive issued by the European Union, the meaning of the concept tends to be structured more like a metaphor. Seeing data as a metaphor, Bernisson suggests that regulation and regulators have quite a bit of creative leeway in imagining new methods to think about and regulate privacy.
Drs. Iva Nenadić (University of Zagreb) and Marko Milosavljević (University of Ljubljana) continue the examination of European Union regulatory instruments seeking, as the title of their chapter suggests, to study the effectiveness of “regulating for media pluralism.” Their goal is to discover the limits and possibilities intrinsic in major European Union regulations, including the better-known ones, such as GPDR, but also some that are less known, such as the Open Internet Access rules or the Audio-Visual Media Services directive. The chapter uses the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) framework to assess media pluralism in the EU member states as a means to prevent possible threats and violations of fundamental rights. The chapter’s goal is to determine if the directives and policies have the intended efficacy at the national level. This type of investigation is very necessary because it is the responsibility and privilege of national governments to implement the directives and until they act, EU directives remain just that. The chapter concludes that, in the future, the European Commission should get a stronger role in the process of securing regulatory unity in media diversity at the European Union level. At the same time, governments should be encouraged and supported through unifying documents and rules, following the model set by GDPR. The authors also convincingly argue that one of the best ways to connect the supranational (EU) and national (state) levels of regulation would be the transnational working groups of regulations authorities as the ERGA (European Regulators Group for Audio Visual Media Services).
Drs. Inna Lyubareva (IMT Atlantique) and Fabrice Rochelandet (Sorbonne Nouvelle University and Labex ICCA) examine another facet of the media diversity debate in their regulation chapter “From News Diversity to News Quality:​ New Media Regulation Theoretical Issues.” The chapter is an in-depth investigation of the manner in which the emergence of social media platforms—a new, privileged avenues for disseminating news produced by traditional media organizations—has affected the quality of the news production. The authors identify more than one axis of impact, including heterogeneity, originality, presence of critical analysis, and general rhetorical quality. The authors conclude that, in most of these modes, media platformization can lead to lower quality. The problem is made more complex by the fact that the “platform effect” is not perpetuated only by the production mechanism, but also by the consumption patterns. Social media posts are expected and are consumed as “quick snacks,” which does not allow in-depth development of the content along academic, philosophical, or political registers.
Dr. Françoise Benhamou’s chapter, “The Stakes and Threats in the Convergence Between Media and Telecommunicatio​n Industries,” reflects on the dramatic economic and technological shift represented by the emergence of telecommunications companies, such as the American AT&T or French Orange. As an academic economist with an appointment at University of Sorbonne Paris Nord, with vast experience in media regulation—she was a commissioner of the French Telecom Regulator ARCEP—she provides a practical view on what is possible in the world of media industries, while contrasting opposition to what is desirable. Starting from the fact that convergence is a growing phenomenon, she questions the efficiency of the infrastructure available and its ability to overcome its early limitations. Dr. Benhamou also investigates the new business models created by convergence, which are rooted in mining personal data and consumption. From a regulatory perspective, she proposes that new regulatory tools should be created, including those that focus on non-discrimination (much like Net Neutrality) within media diversity.
Dr. Sorin Adam Matei (Professor of Communication and Associate Dean of Research, Purdue University) and Larry Kilman (Professor, American Graduate School, Paris) investigate in the chapter “Linking Theory and Pedagogy in the Comparative Study of US—French Media Regulatory Regimes” the core regulatory research and educational topics that can be most profitably studied across the Atlantic. Relying on rich experiences in teaching graduate courses that bring US students to study media practices and regulation in France, the authors examine the core areas of regulation that connect the chapters of this book: intellectual property, privacy, and freedom of expression. The authors propose that one of the most profitable manners of investigating these issues and teaching about them at the graduate level is to emphasize the growing hybridization of the US and European media industries. Long considered distinct regulatory regimes, one more libertarian (USA) and the other more statist (EU), the last three decades have taught us that neither position is tenable within its old contours. The globalization of media affairs, the fact that most US social media companies make a significant amount of money in Europe, and the truth that Europe depends on US media markets to reach out to the world with its own content, has led to convergent approach in regulation. The unexpected smooth and successful emergence of GDPR as a de facto common regulatory regime for most US social media companies, regardless of the area of operation, highlights this development very well. Citing learner insights collected from the papers written for the professional graduate courses they taught, the essay demonstrates the degree to which this convergence process has advanced in the minds of professional practitioners while still allowing for significant differences. Meanwhile, the chapter proposes new ways to think about developing new pedagogical and research approaches to explore this possibility in the future. The chapter’s conclusions are strengthened by the students: are mid-career professionals, who in great majority, are US communication professionals and media opinion leaders.
The volume’s concluding chapter “Short and Long-Term Scenarios for Media Regulation” engages in anticipatory analysis of critical trends and issues in the space of mediated communication. While the future is and will forever be as unpredictable as the weather, it does have, just like atmospheric phenomena, a certain climate determined by fundamental, institutional realities. The final chapter asks the volume contributors to reasonably speculate about institutional media developments in the near and distant future, including propositions for regulating or deregulating media to facilitate those development that are positive or to prevent the ones that may be negative. The chapter extrapolates from what is known to what is completely unknown, revealing some unexpected hopes, fears, and possibilities.
Our hope is the current volume provides a forward-looking vision of the issues that regulation and regulators need to pay attention to in the future through its contemporary scholarship and the caliber of the contributors. We believe that the pluralistic vision of the volume has created new frameworks to consider about media regulation. Some of these frameworks include: proposing new and justified motivations for regulating the potential deleterious effects of media platformization, creating legislations that make sense for the heterogeneous members of the UE, and encouraging media organizations and their users to be partners in a process of co-regulation. These and many other yet-to-be-revealed challenges and opportunities make the study of media transformation and regulation at this historic crossroad a rich territory of research, through which this volume has only blazed one trail of exploration.
Open Access This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.
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Metadaten
Titel
Introduction: New Paradigms of Media Regulation in a Transatlantic Perspective
verfasst von
Sorin Adam Matei
Franck Rebillard
Fabrice Rochelandet
Copyright-Jahr
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66759-7_1