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“If you pay for content, you should be able to access it on holiday”

9 December 2015

“If you pay for content, you should be able to access it on holiday”

If somebody has paid for an online movie, sports or television subscription in one EU country, they should be able to access it when travelling to another, according to ECR MEPs Angel Dzhambazki and Daniel Dalton.

If somebody has paid for an online movie, sports or television subscription in one EU country, they should be able to access it when travelling to another, according to European Conservatives and Reformists MEPs Angel Dzhambazki and Daniel Dalton, following initiatives by the European Commission to introduce a “Portability Regulation” and to publish a ‘communication’ on options for bringing copyright laws into the digital age.

The commission’s proposal says that people who buy content in one EU Member State – such as Netflix – should be able to download it if they go abroad, without being ‘geo-blocked’.

The commission’s communication on copyright is a prelude to more formal legislative changes to the 14 year old regime due next year. The proposals look at how improvements to copyright rules can help boost the competitiveness of Europe’s economy, especially in Europe’s creative industries.

ECR shadow rapporteur on copyright, Angel Dzhambazki (BG), said:

“Our copyright rules were written at a time when dial-up internet connections meant that even downloading music was a push. Clearly in the age of video streaming, they need a major update.

“As we try to move the EU Single Market into a digital age, it is important that we have clear copyright rules to help the growth of a number of industries, but particularly creative industries like arts, film and music whilst keeping in mind the importance of cultural heritage. Our current copyright rules are patchy, outdated, and often poorly enforced, giving producers of content a lack of certainty that they will get the rewards they deserve.”

ECR Group consumer protection spokesman Daniel Dalton (UK), said of the geo-blocking proposals:

“The basic principle should apply that if you’re paying for a subscription to a service then you should not be blocked from accessing it when you go elsewhere in the EU temporarily.

“Of course, broadcasting rights are territorial and we need to make sure that the law does not have unintended consequences on incomes that pay for quality programming. However, people rightly say to me that they thought they lived in an EU Single Market, so why can’t they watch a movie or some cricket that they have already paid for when they go on holiday? I would much prefer for the market to find an answer to their question, but so far it has failed to do so.”

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