Morning Media Newsfeed: ECJ Tackles Web Records | ABC Pitches Brands | FCC Faces Protests

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European Court Lets Users Erase Records on Web (NYT)
Europe’s highest court said on Tuesday that people had the right to influence what the world could learn about them through online searches, a ruling that rejected long-established notions about the free flow of information on the Internet. Poynter / MediaWire If results display pages that are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed,” the search engine operator must remove them, the court ruled, even if the “publication in itself on those pages is lawful.” BBC News The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy. Google says it does not control data, it only offers links to information freely available on the Internet. It has previously said forcing it to remove data amounts to censorship. WSJ Some lawyers argue that the ruling will probably only be applied for searches done and displayed in Europe, and only for European data subjects, for instance, EU citizens or European residents. The court specifically said, however, that companies can’t get out of compliance simply by saying their servers are outside of Europe. The technology industry has rallied around freedom of speech, long a tenet of Western democracy but enshrined specifically in the U.S. Constitution as its First Amendment. Privacy-rights activists and many European officials have supported a competing notion: the “right to be forgotten.” Reuters The ruling creates technical challenges as well as potential extra costs for companies like Google, the world’s No. 1 search engine, and Facebook. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said the rights of people whose privacy has been infringed outweighed the general public interest. Google said it was disappointed with the ruling, which contradicted a non-binding opinion from the ECJ’s court adviser last year that said deleting sensitive information from search results would interfere with freedom of expression.

ABC Upfront Presentation Pitches Advertisers on Disney, Digital, Data (Deadline New York)
Not much change from last year in the basic business proposition that ABC offered to upfront advertisers Tuesday: Forget that it’s the No. 4 network in prime time for 18-to-49 year olds. Execs touted the “brand halo” (as entertainment chief Paul Lee put it) that Disney and its properties offer ABC. Variety Anne Sweeney, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, delivered her last presentation in her exec role. She showed off enhancements coming to the Watch ABC live streaming service, including the ability for viewers to watch live events such as the Oscars from different camera angles, and an option where viewers can integrate second-screen social media activity onto the TV screen. THR / The Live Feed With Kerry Washington starrer Scandal hitting big, Lee decided to embrace diversity — with a vengeance. He rolled out at least four shows, including Cristela, Fresh Off The Boat, Black-ish and American Crime, with racial humor and/or politics at their cores. The strategy was not subtle, with Lee hammering home his push for a broader, multicultural audience. NYT ABC and ESPN said they will join forces for coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, in realms like the WatchESPN and Watch ABC apps. Univision Communications, which specializes in programming aimed at Hispanics, played up its Spanish-language World Cup coverage during a presentation that took place after ESPN’s and before ABC’s.

FCC Will Vote on Net Neutrality Thursday Despite Protests (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
Despite protests on all sides and calls to delay consideration, the Federal Communications Commission will almost certainly bring chairman Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality proposals to a vote on Thursday morning. Sources close to the situation say that Wheeler would not bring the controversial proposals forward at the FCC’s meeting if he was not sure he’ll be able to get the three votes needed for passage. Politico According to FCC officials, Wheeler circulated his latest revisions Monday — trying to pick up the two votes he needs to pass the notice. In the most significant change, Wheeler will seek public comment on whether the FCC should reclassify broadband as a communications utility, giving the agency authority to regulate Internet rates and services as it does with telephone companies, according to commission officials. Net neutrality advocates favor that option as more robust, but it’s opposed by telecoms that fear it will give the government too much power over their business. Wheeler’s original plan sparked outrage after details emerged that it would allow Internet service providers, such as AT&T and Verizon, to charge companies like Netflix, Amazon and Google for faster delivery of content. Mashable Meanwhile, the CEOs of America’s biggest telecom providers, including Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, came out against the possibility of being reclassified as a utility and put under stricter regulation by the FCC. In a letter sent to the FCC Tuesday, the CEOs argued that the “light-touch approach” to regulation — that is, the status quo — has enabled the American telecom industry to thrive, and said changing it would be a mistake. Variety More than 240 TV showrunners and creators signed on to a Writers Guild of America West letter urging the commission to avoid regulations that would allow content companies to pay for speedier delivery to users.