Budapest
30 June 2017
Reporter: Mark Dugdale

Cross-border portability nears the finish line


The cross-border portability regulation is on the cusp of becoming law in the EU, heard attendees of the European Communities Trade Mark Association (ECTA) Annual Conference in Budapest.

Vita Jukne, policy officer in the copyright unit of the directorate general for communications networks, content and technology at the European Commission, reported today that the cross-border portability regulation is all but ready to be published in the Official Journal of the EU.

The cross-border portability regulation, which would allow EU citizens who pay for online services in their home country to access those services temporarily in other member states, will become law nine months after publication in the Official Journal of the EU, meaning the European Commission’s target of Q1 2018 for implementation could be met.

The question of whether the concepts of ‘temporary stay’ and ‘residence’ would be clarified beyond the European Council’s practical scenarios for using content abroad, such as leisure, travel, business trips or learning mobility, was addressed by Jukne, who said they were clearly defined in the finalised regulation.

According to the latest available copy of the regulation’s text, the concepts are defined as: “‘Member state of residence’ means the member state … where the subscriber has his or her actual and stable residence [and] ‘temporarily present in a member state’ means being present in a member state other than the member state of residence for a limited period of time.”

Dr Sebastian Schwemer of the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for Information and Innovation Law said of the cross-border portability regulation: “It’s a fairly interesting model that’s been chosen. It’s a simple, easy mechanism.”

Negotiations over the other Digital Single Market reforms, which were put forward in September 2016, are intensifying as EU lawmakers try to overcome cultural differences, according to Jukne.

The press publisher’s right that would allow publishers to charge search engines such as Google News for the use of snippets of their stories is getting a lot of attention in debates.

Meanwhile, Article 13 of the proposed copyright directive, which would require platforms to take down user content at the behest of rights owners with commonly available technological means, contains “proportional and appropriate measures”, according to Jukne.

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