In Medias Res

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


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


Az In Medias Res folyóirat 2022. évi második lapszámának borítója

Conceptual and theoretical framework for deep mediatisation

Authors: Mónika Andok

Among the processes related to network communication, the study presents the concept of deep mediatisation resulting from digitisation. In the theories related to traditional mass communication (printed press, radio, television), the nature of the process of mediation has been problematic since the 1980s, and some researchers have focused on researching the process of mediatisation instead of the media phenomenon. In this study, I explore the research traditions of mediatisation in terms of both media sociology and cultural theories. While the concept of mediatisation is used to describe traditional mass communication technologies and processes that operate in a classical, analog way, deep mediatisation is the key word for network communication on a digital infrastructure. After highlighting the differences between traditional mediatisation and deep mediatisation, I present the theory of Couldry and Hepp, which underpins a new kind of social construction theory based on deep mediatisation in the social world.

Keywords: datafication, digitalisation, mediatisation, social construction

Battlefield of Ideas

Freedom of Expression under State of Emergency

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: Lóránt Csink

For a long time, we expected state of emergency to be a purely theoretical possibility. Security policy experts and theoretical constitutional lawyers have modeled what measures can be introduced at the time of state of emergency and how they affect our fundamental rights. We hardly thought of introducing them permanently and significantly until the spring of 2020. Since then, the pandemic, and today the war in our neighbourhood, has shown that state of emergency is real and imminent, and there is a greater restriction of our fundamental rights than ever before. The question arises: how can freedom of expression be exercised under such circumstances? The problem can be raised at both the individual and community level. At the individual level, it is possible to ask why and to what extent we should give up free speech and whether the restriction is legitimate at all. Besides, the events in Ukraine have confirmed that the outcome of the war is decided not only on the battlefields but also on the communication front: the opposing forces want to emphasise their own communication, in a fashionable word: to strengthen their narrative. In such a situation, the question arises sharply in each state: is the silence of war propaganda or its free spread better for democracy?

Keywords: freedom of expression, state of emergency, restriction of fundamental rights

Platform regulation of hate speech – a transatlantic speech compromise?

Author: Uta Kohl

This paper argues that the binary opposition in the treatment of hate speech in the US and Europe hides non-binary preoccupations that reflect different primary fears which do not fall along the same ‘scale’. European liberal democracies fear the consequences of hate speech being left uncensored in the public domain (a WHAT concern) whilst America fears the consequences of content interventions by government (a WHO concern). The paper then proposes that the German Network Enforcement Law of 2017 builds a bridge between American and European speech traditions. NetzDG requires major platforms to moderate content in response to user takedown notices based on legally imposed speech standards. The mechanism of public standards being enforced through private processes is arguably uniquely adept at simultaneously assuaging the primary European fear about the absence of effective speech controls in the public domain and the primary American fear about the presence of governmental censorship.

Keywords: platform liability, NetzDG, First Amendment, Digital Services Act, hate speech

Civil law analysis of virtual reality pseudorealia

Author: Ákos Kőhidi

In this study, after defining tokens (including nonfungible tokens) and clarifying related concepts, I aimed to examine the civil law nature of the formers. I was looking for the answer to the question whether the legal definitions of real property law can be applied to these virtual goods. In this context, I examined the concept of physical objects and all the legal categories to which the rules relating to things shall also be applied. During the examination, the study also covers the rules of the ABGB, BGB and ZGB. Then I examine the possible future directions of legal regulation, and finally I touch upon the effect that tokens can have on the property law rules concerning the transfer of corporeal things.

Keywords: metaverse, NFT, token, blockchain, MICA, res incorporales, DRM

The Role of Language Technology in Promoting the Social, Political and Economic Participation of Minority Language Speakers and Members of Linguistic Minorities

Author: Petra Lea Láncos

With the incremental development of language technologies, language barriers are being dismantled in more and more areas, enabling minorities to participate in social, economic and political life. With the help of machine translation, automatic interpretation and chat bots developed for different uses, etc., minority language users can now access various services enter into contracts or access information on public affairs in their own language. While these developments must be welcomed, such technologies are typically and inherently ’biased’ in the sense that they are developed primarily for the majority, official, or state languages. Nevertheless, several official languages and even state languages may find themselves in a bind, where language technology development does not reach them due to the low number of their speakers. As a result, new dividing lines may open up between the differentlanguages, and existing minority statuses may be cemented. In addition, linguistic minorities such as the deaf, blind, dumb, hard of hearing, etc. may also benefit from access to and communication through language technology, such as automatic captioning, screen readers or sign-language gloves. At the same time, it exactly is in these areas that progress is slow, which may lead to the long-term exclusion of linguistic minorities from modern communication solutions. the relationship between individual languages and their speakers, with some language communities lagging behind others in language technology developments. Thus, language technology developments not only provide opportunities for users’ social, economic and political participation but may also reshape the relationship between languages and their speakers, forcing some language communities to lag behind in terms of language technology developments.

Keywords: language rights, language technology, minority, information rights

The Regulation of Online Platforms in the European Union

Author: András Tóth

In the global digital transformation, one of the main objectives of the European Union is still to preserve its values, which can be achieved by legal regulation. The regulation of digital transformation effects and involves the online platforms, which do not have a clear and standard definition in EU law due to the gradual and specific evolution of EU regulations. Besides the competition law and consumer protection aspects of online platforms, a new field of law under the name of European platform law has emerged, which reduces the autonomy of online platforms regarding their decision-making. Finding an effective way and method to regulate online platforms also involved their qualification as information society services, and made it necessary to set the boundaries of hosting service provider liability and to redefine the employment relationship. The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of the steps and key issues in the regulation of online platforms in the EU by presenting the most relevant regulations, directives, proposals and case law.

Keywords: online platforms, video sharing platforms, labour law, competition law, consumer protection

Conflicts between the right to privacy and freedom of expression in the online community space

Authors: Tímea Barzó, Csenge Halász

Freedom of expression and the right to privacy are core values of the legal system, and social media present many challenges. Social networking sites have brought the freedom to exchange and share opinions, but this can only take place within a framework set by global content providers. The right to privacy is also affected, and, in many cases, eroded, at many points by the way social media operate. The aim of this study is to examine the way in which these two rights are exercised in the online space and the collision between them.

Keywords: Conflicts between the right to privacy and freedom of expression in the online community space, freedom of expression, right to privacy, social media

Locus standi and some issues of violation of personal data in privacy lawsuits

Author: László Bodolai

Press correction, and press-related personality rights lawsuits occupy a special place in the Hungarian legal system. After the introduction, the study describes the current Hungarian legal environment, followed by the relevant guidelines of the Supreme Court (Kúria, Chamber opinions No. 12, 13., 14., and 15), which still determine the basic issues of these lawsuits. In the third part of the article, it discusses three key issues of judicial practice. All three problems are related to the peculiarity that the role of judicial discretion in these proceedings is much broader compared to other legal proceedings, as the judge not only reconstructs the facts and weighs evidence, but also interprets ordinary texts (texts of newspaper articles) within a legal framework. The first problem area is when the person concerned is not a living individual, but special for some reason: either deceased, or a community, or a legal entity. The second problem area covers questions related to the recognizability of the injured person, while the third topic area discusses some issues of the relationship between the content of the communication and the affected person. The study concludes with a discussion of data protection considerations in lawsuits related to press correction and personality rights.

Keywords: cultural rights, communication rights, publicity, media

Cultural rights in the communication sphere

Author: Zsolt Cseporán

Perhaps, the most generic characteristic of culture is communication: without it no culture could have ever taken shape, survived, spread over – moreover it could have not even changed. Besides the society theory connection, the common feature of cultural rights is that their fundamental rights protection is not only a peculiar form of self-expression – such as for example artistic creation or scientific research – but it extends to certain parts of the public, which serves as protection in the communication sphere: It makes the individual’s well-founded participation in the societal process possible. Within the framework of the study, I undertake to analyse the cultural aspects of the fundamental rights named cultural rights, – accordingly, the freedom of art and science and the academic freedom derived from the right to education – especially in light of the fact, that the objects and values protected by these rights, in order words culture plays a significant role in the lives of societies, thus in the public interactions.

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

Current legal assessment of anonymous commenting based on the practice of the European Court of Human Rights and the Australian Supreme Court

Authors: Gergely Gosztonyi, Daniella Huszárn

Anonymous expression has been around since the beginning of the internet. Although many people initially saw it as a positive thing, the legal, social, political and sociological problems associated with it are now clear. The present paper deals with the legal status of content that users attach to content published by traditional content providers, typically in the form of comments. These mainly contribute to developing a culture of debate on the Internet, to the common discussion of issues of interest to a wide range of people, and thus to the normal functioning of a democratic society. Still, in many cases, they also raise several legal problems. The paper compares the case law of the European supranational human rights adjudicatory forum and the Australian Supreme Court, seeking to answer the question of whether different legal cultures have different views on similar regulatory issues.

Keywords: comment, anonymous, European Court of Human Rights, Australian Supreme Court, liability, content provider

Recent trends on the criticism of politically exposed persons in light of the case law of the appellate courts regarding social media

Author: Krisztián Kovács

This study examines the recent development of the court practice regarding politically exposed persons, with particular focus on social media aspects. It shows the change in the concept of politically exposed persons and in legislation, then move on to summarise the latest court decisions. It is important to notice that in the past few decades the concept of politically exposed person changed: Nowadays, the courts’ approach in cases concerning personality rights does not focus on the status of being such a person but the matters which may have public interest. For the free debates on public affairs, it is essential to have opportunity to criticise the politically exposed persons. On the social media platforms, the technical development in the last 10-15 years opened the door for quicker and more intense debates. This paper also discusses whether access limitations to social media platforms could have impact on the infringements of rights.

Keywords: politically exposed person, social media, Facebook

The last moment?

Environmental Sustainability in Electronic Communications Regulation

Author: Máté Mester

Ensuring climate-neutral electronic communications is the responsibility of the whole industry and due to global warming urgent action is needed. Despite this, the topic of environmental sustainability has not received subtle attention in electronic communications regulation in Hungary so far; neither can we find related research, articles or studies. This article aims to fill this gap by reviewing the relevant international, European and Hungarian regulatory environment and associated trends and providing a comprehensive overview of sustainability initiatives in the electronic communications industry, furthermore proposing possible regulatory actions at the national level based on the evaluation of the overall picture. The article hopes to serve as a starting point for an industry discussion and to put the topic of green transition into its deserved position within electronic communications regulation.

Keywords: electronic communications, networks, services, regulation, environmental sustainability

In Medias Res