Nov 252017

Geoblocking to stay for streaming and on demand service within the EU

EU legislators have bowed to pressure from broadcasters on the geoblocking of streaming services after a late-night session.

MEPs had wanted rules that will force e-commerce businesses to sell to shoppers around the EU regardless where they live to also include streaming services.

But the legal committee voted to limit the so-called “country of origin” principle to news and current affairs output.

It means viewers will be able to watch such programmes across the European Union with the content counted for copyright purposes as being within their home country.

Agnieszka Horak, ACT’s Director of Policy and Legal Affairs, said there was a danger in the amount of content produced in the European Union: “Today’s vote in the Legal Affairs Committee is definitely a step in the right direction. It acknowledges the value of territorial exclusivity in ensuring EU citizens can watch a wide range of high quality TV programmes.

“Commercial broadcasters have long believed that the wrong legislation on this issue would reduce the amount, quality and diversity of TV content. We thank all the Members of the European Parliament who have helped us take a step towards better legislation.

But the Cable Europe organisation said that by effectively excluding the internet and mobile from the legislation – along with such services as restart and catch-up – the committee was out of step with modern technologies.

Originally the Commission has not wanted to apply the ban to any copyrighted material.

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