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The rapid development of information and communication technologies accelerated the transition into a global information and knowledge society over the last years. Technical progress allows to increasingly save, handle and process information regardless of time, place and quantity. The result is the merging of former separate economic sectors as computer technology, telecommunication and audio-visual media. The key word “information highway” characterizes this new stage in the process of industrial revolution. Especially the federal state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, which long derived the majority of its wealth from traditional industrial branches like the coal and steel industry, faces incisive structural changes in its economy. Deliberation on a legal framework for the information society in Europe has only just begun. The European Commission (EC) has published a set of green papers dealing with the requirements of regulation in regard to selected topics, such as the liberalisation of telecommunication networks or copyright. In some fields like cross-border television, the protection of data bases or data protection, EC-directives are passed to unify national law. The EC considers  a pan-European proceeding to be necessary to obtain a leading position in global competition for information and telecommunication markets. In Germany too, increased efforts are made to manage the legal problems coming along with the information society. Currently the focus of research is on whether conventional instruments of civil, criminal and administrative law are sufficient to achieve appropriate solutions in the multimedia age. Wherever the existing framework, based upon the traditional distinction between individual and mass communication, fails to ensure an adequate protection of legal interests, options for a contemporary regulation are sought. The Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law (ITM) aims to ascertain the legal environment of the information society. In this process comparative law is a priority to permit learning from the experiences made in other countries. Furthermore, the tasks of the members of the institute include the representation of information, telecommunication and media law in academic teaching and advanced education. The members of the institute concern themselves with the possible application of interactive media in academic teaching and further topics of legal information. The information, telecommunication and media law is a cross-section matter which cannot even roughly be covered by any of the traditional legal disciplines – civil, criminal and public law – alone. Therefore the ITM strives for interdisciplinary research and teaching activities. For that reason, the executive board of the Institute is supposed to contain each a professor of civil, criminal and public law. In so far the institute´s structure is without precedent in the Federal Republic of Germany.