In Medias Res

A journal on press freedom and the rules of the public sphere

Archive

Journal on the media freedom and on the rules of public sphere

2022/1


Cover page of issue number 2022/1 of In Medias Res

Self-regulatory platforms?

The analysis of the prevailing end-user rights in light of the implementation of Article 17 CDSM Directive

Authors: Péter Mezei, István Harkai

The implementation deadline of Directive 2019/790/EU (the CDSM Directive) has been passed by 7 June 2021. Many Member States of the European Union missed to comply with the transposition of the Directive, which, on the other hand, has posed obligations on others as well. Article 17 of the Directive obliged online content-sharing service providers (OCSSPs) to include certain provisions in their end-user license agreements, including the implementation of new limitations and exceptions and the establishment of an effective complaints and redress mechanism for the end-user who uploads content that has been removed. In the second phase of our EU-funded research we analysed whether and how certain, selected OCSSPs complied with the new EU obligations. Our empirical data show that besides limited developments on the field, brand new sources of conflicts have emerged.

Keywords: CDSM Directive, copyright reform, online content-sharing service providers, end-user license agreements


The impact of media on the moral rights of authors

Author: Edit Sápi

The study deals with the situation and enforcement of the authors’ moral rights (the right to paternity, the right to publish the work and the right to the unity of the work) in the context of traditional and new media. The work covers the basic media law concepts, which are relevant from the viewpoint of the study, according to the relevant legal sources. It briefly describes the most important rules and characteristics of the authors’ moral rights and emphasises the guarantee nature of such rights and their role in encouraging creative work. It shows the issues and practical examples, where moral rights can be infringed in public service media, commercial television programs, social media and advertising. It can be seen that the most vulnerable and the most difficult of the three rights of the author is the protection of the unity of the work. Moral rights cannot be separated from the need to encourage creative work, so it would be particularly important for them to be properly enforced in the media environment, especially on social media platforms that generate a wide range of issues.

Keywords: media, copyright law, social media,authors’ moral rights, advertisements


Non-compliance of the Hungarian freedom of information act with international treaties

The impact of the Tromso Convention in Hungary

Author: Márton Schultz

Hungary had ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents (also known as the Tromsø Convention) in 2009, which has entered into force in 2020. The national legislator recodified the regulation on freedom of information in a new act, called Infotv., in 2011. Compliance with the Convention was achieved neither in 2011, nor at the amendment of the Infotv., nor after that the Convention came into force, thus it can be presumed that the Hungarian regulation does not meet the requirements of the Tromsø Convention. Furthermore, the courts at law and the Constitutional Court have been avoiding to scrutinise and compare the rules set out in the Convention with those of the Infotv. This paper aims to compare selected rules of the Convention with the Hungarian norms: In some cases, the Infotv. does not contain specific rules, even though the case law complies with the Convention, in other cases the Hungarian rules have either handicaps, or are in conflict with the Tromsø Convention’s opposite rules on the same subject. The paper also examines the relation of personal data to freedom of information, and states that the regulation on personal data may comply with the Convention, but is not as flexible as it should be, regarding the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The paper concludes that a comprehensive review of the Infotv. is necessary.

Keywords: freedom of information, Tromsø Convention, non-compliance with international treaty, personal data


Political parody in Hungarian Copyright Law

Author: Dávid Ujhelyi

With the entry into force of Act XXXVII of 2021, the Hungarian Copyright Act underwent a major amendment that added, among other things – e.g. regulation of out-of-commerce works, cross-border digital education, a new neighbouring right –, a free use case that excluded parody uses from the rightholder’s exclusive rights in connection with the regulation of the new aspect of the right of communication to the public related to digital platforms. The goal of this study is to identify and address the copyright law related issues of political parody, based on documented practice of the CJEU, litigations abroad and in Hungary as well, and to seek answers to these question in the light of the new free use case.

Keywords: political parody, copyright law, CDSM


Characteristics of European platform regulation.

Platform law and user protection

Author: Zsolt Ződi

The paper presents the European regulation of platforms. In the first part, it reconstructs the process in which the concept of platform, from an information technology and marketing concept became a legal one. The legal concept emerged from the mid-2010s, first in supplementations of sectoral rules for platforms and later by creating sui generis platform rules. The second part of the paper argues that these rules can be interpreted as an emerging separate area of law, the ‘European platform law’. One of the most important ultimate justifying principles and purposes of this legal corpus is the protection of users. This is achieved through a number of tools, some of which are legal transplants from other legal areas (such as consumer protection), while others are sui generis legal rules created specifically for platforms, such as the protection of user accounts or the explainability and transparency of algorithms.

Keywords: internet platforms, platform-work, comprehensibility of user contracts, transparency of algorithms, complaint mechanism on platforms


Discourses on the academic position of communication and media studies

Author: Márton Demeter

Towards the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, it has become clear that communication is one of the main drivers of globalization, and that the media, one of the most important means of doing so, have a major impact on individual countries, continents and, ultimately, the world. However, the recognition of communication and media studies as an academic field with a centuries-old tradition is still quite rudimentary in Hungary. This paper provides an introduction to the history of communication and media research, a brief overview of its institutionalization in Hungary, and ultimately argues that this field of research will continue to be crucial not only for the understanding of our technology, but also for the understanding of our own human nature and society.

Keywords: ommunication and media studies, institutionalization, globalization, social challenges


The relationship between social media platforms and hybrid conflicts

Authors: Ádám Farkas, Roland Kelemen

The method of hybrid threats and the underlying conceptual framework have been widely investigated again since the second half of the 2000s, following Hezbollah’s tangible military success in Lebanon against the Israel Defense Forces in 2006. This was exacerbated by the activities of the Islamic State, which conducted a sophisticated and rather aggressive marketing campaign, and developed psychological warfare in cyberspace to a high level. Various operations in the context of the Ukrainian crisis and the Russian annexation of Crimea have once again brought hybrid warfare into the spotlight. The hybrid equipments are not new in history, but their success has been obviously enhanced by the development of technology, especially cyberspace and the wide range of opportunities cyberspace offers. Following the Russian–Ukrainian crisis, it has also become clear that hybrid instruments can not only appear as parts of a complex interstate conflict but that some of their elements can be used on their own. Clear examples of this include various disinformation campaigns. In this paper, the authors highlight, through a characterisation of hybrid conflicts, the extent to which the use of soft assets is an immanent part of contemporary military operations. The filtering practices and mechanisms, economic and market perceptions of social media platforms can be used to conduct disinformation campaigns.

Keywords: hybrid warfare, hybrid conflict, hybrid threat, disinformation, social media


Search engines and transparency requirements from consumer protection perspective

Author: Klára Gellén

Search engine rankings are key elements of search engine activities, which have significant influence on consumer choices, therefore to protect the consumers, it is of utmost importance for them to be aware of the key factors that determine the ranking process. The Omnibus Directive 2019/2161 introduced new transparency requirements for search engines, incorporating them into Directives on UCP and Consumer Rights. The legislation imposes an information obligation on the main parameters of organic search listings, while a new blacklisting requirement has been introduced for paid ranking, positive discrimination. The study explores the consumer protection aspects of the transparency rules expected from search engines.

Keywords: search engine, consumer protection, unfair commercial practices, neutrality, transparency


Political gangsterism, or JFK’s death as depicted in the hungarian press

Author: Rajmund Fekete

On November 22, 1963, US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, plunging the country and the world into mourning. The violent death of the President seemed to have robbed the United States of America and the world of a better future. His youth and energy had given the country hope, faith and commitment. These factors also contributed significantly to making the Kennedy assassination an event to mourn in the collective consciousness of the American people, much like the fall of the Twin Towers thirty-eight years later. After the assassination, Jackie Kennedy sought to ensure the immortality of her husband — whose presidency was not only a turning point but also a model for his successors, regardless of party affiliation — by creating a myth. In this study, I examine the question of how the death of the President struck Hungary, a country in the Soviet sphere of interest. Did they stick to formalities, merely sending telegrams of condolences, or did they use the assassination as a secondary narrative to interpret the assassination of the US president within the framework of their own communist narrative? I answer these questions by examining more than 600 articles.

Keywords: John F. Kennedy, assassination, Camelot, Hungarian press


May I trust you?

Fears and facts about the Chinese social credit system

Author: Endre Győző Szabó

The Chinese social scoring system (more precisely, the social credibility system, SCS) has received a great deal of attention worldwide. The program, which is implemented with significant control over society, has appeared in the literature as a kind of deterrent example. The purpose of this paper is to analyze SCS objectively and in the light of EU data protection rules. The SCS aims to steer everyone towards honesty and compliance. To this end, it also sets clear goals: punish and reward, thus enforcing the will of the state. It provides full publicity for both penalties and rewards. The handling of a large amount of data, the possibility of inaccuracies and errors necessitate that the SCS be operated in accordance with strict management rules, data protection and data security principles, at least some of them. Although many people consider the SCS to be incompatible with European data protection, maintaining it will inevitably lead to the application of certain data protection and data security principles. According to the draft regulation on artificial intelligence in the European Union, initiatives for the general purpose of scoring natural persons by public authorities in the Union should be prohibited. This therefore means that the SCS operated in China has pushed the EU-China approach to privacy into an unpredictable distance, which also rules out the possibility of an adequacy decision in the future.

Keywords: social credibility system, China, data protection, social control, point system

In Medias Res