Insights Council of European Union agrees general approach on draft Regulation aimed at ensuring cross-border portability of online content services in internal market.

The agreement enables the Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament, once Parliament has agreed its negotiating position, under the ordinary legislative procedure.

The increased use of portable devices, such as tablets and smartphones, facilitates access to the use of online content services regardless of the consumers’ location, the Council says.

Current obstacles to cross-border portability of online content services stem from the fact that the rights for the transmission of content protected by copyright and/or related rights such as audiovisual works as well as rights for premium sporting events are often licensed on a territorial basis.

Under the general approach, the Regulation would apply to online content services that are provided against payment of money.  Free-to-air services, such as public broadcasters, would be able to benefit from the Regulation, provided that they verify the country of residence of their subscribers.

The European Commission presented the original proposal in December 2015.  It is among the first initiatives of the Digital Single Market Strategy put forward with the objective of creating an internal market for digital content and services.  To read the Council’s press release in full and for a link to the Council’s proposal, click here.