May 122016

Reports are that the EU will not prevent broadcasters from blocking content from other EU countries.

German business newspaper Handelsblatt says that the planned abolishment of geoblocking in the EU will not be pursued any longer. The newspaper says it has seen a draft of the document, that is expected to be publish within two weeks.

The leaked draft does prohibit the blocking of websites and the products they offer for citizens from other EU countries. But article 1 makes it clear that audiovisual services are exempt from the rule, for example movies, TV series and sports coverage.

The European Commission will not take up the geoblocking issue again, the paper quotes sources in Brussels. This would include the planned harmonisation of copyright.

Through lifting the barriers on the internet, the European Commission wanted to accelerate growth in the digital industry. Andrus Ansip, the commissioner for the digital single market, was one of the main driving forces behind the initiative to abolish geoblocking.

The proposed regulation would mean that the lobby groups from the movie and sports rights industry which wanted to preserve the lucrative country-by-country rights allocation have come out on top in the end.


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