With regard to content regulation (and the question of deciding whether to extend the Directives field of application to Information Society services
, currently covered by the Directive on e-business), the Commission considers that a revision of the Directive would be premature, because total media convergence has not yet taken place: "No Information Society service
has yet attained the same importance and impact as television broadcasting", the Commission says.
In his complaint, the technology company claimed that the CPC's decision was null and void, and the commission had no right to investigate the business or sanction companies because they are Dutch "information society service
Where an information society service
is provided that consists of the transmission in a communication network of information provided by a recipient of the service, or the provision of access to a communication network, Member States shall ensure that the service provider is not liable for the information transmitted, on condition that the provider:
"The definition of 'information society service
' in Article 1 of Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations and of rules of information society services
spans a wide range of economic activities which take place on-line.
"'service', any Information Society service
, that is to say, any service normally provided for remuneration, at a distance, by electronic means and at the individual request of a recipient of services.
Mr Cowen also used the occasion to sign, on behalf of the European Union, the Convention on Information and Legal Co-operation concerning Information Society Services
The Electronic Commerce Directive obliges the Commission to present an evaluation report, accompanied if necessary with proposals to adapt it to "legal, technical and economic developments in the field of information society services
, notably concerning crime prevention, the protection of minors, consumer protection and the proper working of the Internal Market" (the Directive also required publication of this report no later than July 17, 2003).