EU portability for online content services deal

Data related to online services is becoming easier to port in the Single Market. After EU GDPR personal data portability rules, the EU Council and the Parliament achieved a landmark agreement on the EU portability for online content subscriptions as part of copyrights reform. The new unofficial deal is expected to ensure the portability of online content services within the EU. Our Blog editor Vasiliki Antoniadou explores.

 

According to research provided by the EU Commission, in 2016 64% of the EU citizens used the web in order to access video, music and games online, proving that the Internet has become significant means of content distribution. Furthermore, in 2015 one in three Europeans desired cross border portability. Seeing the growing importance of the web in content access, the EU institutions agreed on the removal of the geographical barriers in the use of online subscriptions.

EU data portability

Online music, movies, games and TV

In essence, subscribers in online services for music, movies, games or TV shows will be able to access the content available under their subscription even when travelling temporarily within the bloc, for business or holiday purposes. Currently, such hindrances derive from the territoriality of copyrights and related rights, allowing the transmission of the works to be licensed in limited European territory. The so called geo-fencing won’t be permitted anymore in services provided for example by Netflix, Canal+ or Spotify.   

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President in charge of the Digital Single Market, expressed his satisfaction regarding the new agreement in the following manner : “Today’s agreement will bring concrete benefits to Europeans. People who have subscribed to their favourite series, music and sports events at home will be able to enjoy them when they travel in Europe. This is a new important step in breaking down barriers in the Digital Single Market “.

Although the proposed regulation applies to the services provided under payment, the free to air services may choose to abide by the new rules given that verification of the country of residence of the subscribers is performed. 

Further steps

The proposal has still to be formally accepted by the EU Council and the EU Parliament and it is expected to be applicable in all EU members after a nine month period following the adoption of the regulation, that is in the beginning of 2018.

Aphaia are experts in online services regulation. You can check out our portfolio of consultancy services here.

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