Brussels
08 June 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Cross-border portability edges closer


The European Council has adopted a new regulation that will allow EU citizens who pay for online services in their home country to access those services temporarily in other member states.

The cross-border portability regulation is scheduled to come into force in Q1 2018. It still needs to receive approval from the European Parliament.

The regulation states that there are currently various barriers that hinder the provision of online content services to consumers who are temporarily present in a member state other than their own.

But the regulation is unclear in its definition of “temporarily present in a member state” and the council merely outlines several scenarios, such as leisure, travel, business trips or learning mobility, that would be suitable for the new regulation.

The new regulation would only consider the online content service to be provided lawfully if both the service and the content are provided in “a lawful manner in the member state of residence”.

To avoid abuse, service providers will be required to verify the subscriber's’ member state of residence and will be authorised to cease access to the online service when the subscriber cannot prove their origin.

“The means of verification will be reasonable, proportionate and effective. It will consist of using no more than two criteria from a list of verification means. These may include an identity card, a bank account or credit card.”

Rights owners will also have the option to authorise the use of their content without verification of a subscriber’s residence.

Commenting on the new regulation, the Maltese presidency of the European Council said: “Europeans travelling within the EU will no longer be cut off from online services such as films, sporting broadcasts, music, e-books or games they have paid for back home. Together with the ending of roaming charges, this is important progress in creating a digital single market which benefits everyone.”

The cross-border portability right, a key reform of the EU’s Digital Single Market initiative, has attracted severe criticism from rights owners.

More than 400 rights owners and organisations recently wrote to EU leaders, including council president Donald Tusk, to criticise the plan to introduce the cross-border portability right.

According to the letter, the signatory rights holders and organisations believe the cross-border portability right would “severely erode territorial exclusivity”, effectively allowing broadcasters and online streaming services to “buy a licence for one member state” and “get the rest of the EU for free”.

Sports is likely to be hit particularly hard, although the proposed ‘temporary’ nature of the cross-border portability right would have less of a negative effect than full-blown cross-border licensing, according to one study published last year.

More Copyright news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Fake remembrance merchandise seized by UK Border Force
13 November 2017 | Tilbury | Reporter: Jenna Lomax
Fake poppy branded jewellery, worth around £150,000, was seized ahead of Remembrance Sunday by the UK Border Force
Sci-Hub blocked in the US
06 November 2017 | Virginia | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Sci-Hub has been blocked in the US and must pay $4.8 million to the American Chemical Society after a US district court entered a default judgment and injunction against it
Duo arrested for Nintendo circumvention
03 November 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
A man and a woman from Kidderminster have been arrested for selling circumvention devices that allow users to illegally access hundreds of pirate copies of Nintendo games
Man to pay £16,000 for streaming Sky Sports
26 October 2017 | Bristol | Reporter: Barney Dixon
A man has been ordered to pay £16,000 in legal costs after the UK High Court found him guilty of streaming Sky Sports content illegally online
Portuguese law bans DRM for public domain works
24 October 2017 | Lisbon | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Portugal has passed a new law banning the use of digital rights management security software on public domain media and government works
Netflix, Fox and Amazon sue TickBox IPTV box
18 October 2017 | California | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Netflix, Fox and Universal are among seven entertainment companies joining together to sue Android TV streaming box, TickBox TV, for copyright infringement
Article 13 of DSM proposals should be deleted, says the EFF
17 October 2017 | Brussels | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Digital advocacy group the EFF and other civil society organisations that have penned a letter to European lawmakers demanding that Article 13 of the EU’s new copyright reforms is deleted