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Watch your online films anywhere in the EU: MEPs back cross-border portability

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29/11/2016
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Woman with laptop
Woman with laptop

New rules to enable EU citizens subscribing to services like “Netflix”, that give access to online music, games, films or sporting events, to enjoy this content while abroad in another EU country were approved by the Legal Affairs Committee in a vote on Tuesday.

Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, FR) said: “I am very pleased, as rapporteur, to have been able to take part in drafting this regulation, which makes it possible to introduce the uniform application of portability rules in Europe, a reform much awaited by our fellow citizens. I am all the more pleased that the report makes it possible to ensure respect for territoriality, which is essential for the proper development and financing of the audiovisual and cinematographic sector in Europe”. His report was approved with 22 votes in favour, none against and no abstentions.

The provision of copyright-protected online content services is still largely characterised by territorial and exclusive licensing practices, which result in a lack of cross-border portability in the EU. This will change with this proposal. As long as Europeans have submitted proof of  permanent residence in their member state of residence when subscribing to an online content service, they will have access to the proposed content whatever device they use and whatever member state they are travelling in, for whatever reason, be it professional, private or for studies.

Random checks to verify residence

To verify the member state of residence, strong verification measures will be put in place, such as random checks via the subscriber's IP address, but always guaranteeing user privacy and the proper application of relevant copyright rules. This provision is all the more advantageous as it excludes any tracing or geolocation and ensures the protection of personal data.

Next steps

Committee members also voted to grant a mandate to the rapporteur to enter into negotiations with the Council with a view to reaching a compromise on the proposed law.

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Further information:

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Procedure fileRapporteur Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, FR)BackgroundCommittee on Legal Affairs