European Audiovisual Observatory

IViR has been a partner organisation of the European Audiovisual Observatory since 1994. In the framework of this partnership agreement there is close collaboration on themes of common interest, notably in the conducting of research projects, the preparation of publications and the organisation of workshops.

Annabel Brody coordinates an international network of media law experts who contribute to IRIS - Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory. She also writes for IRIS and edits contributions to the publication written by experts from the network. Tarlach McGonagle is responsible for coordinating general policy matters with the Observatory and Nico van Eijk is a member of the Observatory’s Advisory Committee.

The European Audiovisual Observatory

Established in 1992, the European Audiovisual Observatory has the primary goal of collecting and diffusing information on the audiovisual industry in Europe. It is a public service body comprising 35 Member States and the European Union. A brief summary of its activities is provided here.


IRIS - Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory is a monthly publication which covers recent legal developments concerning broadcasting, film, new media/technologies and related areas of law. The focus is on national and international developments alike. It is published in three languages (English, French and German). IViR is responsible for the collection and processing of information from its international network of experts, which currently comprises 20 (mainly western European) countries. IViR also has responsibility for monitoring and reporting on relevant developments in the European Union and the Council of Europe.

Since January 2010, IRIS is available in electronic form on a free-of-charge basis. Articles from past issues of IRIS are also available free-of-charge online in the searchable IRIS Merlin Database.

IRIS plus

Every other edition of the IRIS newsletter includes a thematic supplement known as IRIS plus. This supplement allows for topical issues relating to the European audiovisual sector to be explored in considerable depth. IViR provides two IRIS plus articles each year. Recent topics have included:

The complete IRIS plus archives are available free-of-charge online.

Other activities and publications

IViR and the Observatory jointly organise one roundtable workshop each year (often with the involvement of other institutes and organisations), which usually lead to IRIS Special publications. Recent topics have included (click here for further information):

  • 'Digitisation and Online Exploitation of Broadcasters' Archives' (2010);
  • 'Ready, Set...Go?' (2009);
  • 'Creativity Comes at a Price' (2009);
  • 'Searching for Audiovisual Content' (2008);
  • 'Editorial Responsibility' (2008);
  • 'Legal Aspects of Video on Demand' (2007);
  • 'The Public Service Broadcasting Culture' (2007);
  • 'Audiovisual Media Services without Frontiers - Implementing the Rules' (2006);
  • 'To Have or not to Have Must-carry Rules' (2005);
  • ‘Political Debate and the Role of the Media: The Fragility of Free Speech’ (2004);
  • ‘Regulating Access to Digital Television: Technical Bottlenecks, Vertically-integrated Markets and New Forms of Media Concentration’ (with the supplement ‘Digital Television Glossary’) (2004);
  • ‘Co-Regulation of the Media in Europe’ (2003);
  • ‘Jurisdiction over Broadcasters in Europe’ (2003).

Updated 15.05.2014