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MEPs back cross-border portability for films

01 December 2016, 11:49 CET
MEPs back cross-border portability for films

Image © Sergio J Lievano - Fotolia

((BRUSSELS) - MEPs gave their backing Tuesday to cross-border portability of online music, games, films and sporting events, allowing travellers to enjoy content while abroad in another EU Member State.

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.

Now the European Parliament's legal affairs committee has 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.

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.

So long as they can submit 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.

Jean-Marie Cavada MEP, the rapporteur for the draft regulation, said the reform was much-awaited: "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," he said.

In order too 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 seen as all the more advantageous as it excludes any tracing or geolocation and ensures the protection of personal data.

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.

Further information, European Parliament

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