It's a common problem on holiday: you are unable to watch your favourite TV show because the online subscription service you have at home won't work abroad due to copyright restrictions. This could soon change. On 29 November Parliament's legal affairs committee backed a proposal to give consumers the right to use their online subscriptions to films and other digital content when they temporarily stay in another EU country. Watch the video to find out more.

Many people use paid online services such as Netflix and Viasat’s Viaplay to access copyright-protected content: films, sports broadcasts, music, games, e-books.


Parliament believes they have every right to expect to be able to use their subscriptions and access their legally acquired content not only at home but also when they are outside their home country, for example when they are on holiday or on a business trip.


However, this is often not possible, because the content is usually licensed for use in a specific territory only.  


On 29 November the legal affairs committee voted in favour of a draft regulation allowing people to use their home online subscriptions to films and other digital content when staying temporarily in another EU country.


French ALDE member Jean-Marie Cavada, the MEP responsible for steering the plans through Parliament, said: “It‘s a sort of exception allowing for cross-border portability during a short period of time provided it's for a temporary trip and that we can verify that you have indeed paid for the subscription in your country of residence."


MEPs will now start negotiations on the final text of the regulation with national governments.