Europe gives thumbs up to OTT portability

The European Commission (hereafter known as the Gaggle of Red-tapers) is quietly threatening to prove it actually does some work after its most recent announcement opening up OTT services throughout Europe.

The Gaggle of Red-tapers has announced an agreement that relates to the modernisation of EU copyright rules to better reflect the digital landscape. Europeans will soon (2018) be able to fully use their online subscriptions to films, sports events, e-books, video games or music services in all member states of the European Union. Currently, users are limited to their domestic market, which has proven to be a frustration.

New portability rules will enable consumers to access their online content services when they travel in the EU the same way they access them at home. The update has been primarily designed for subscription models, though services provided without payment (such as BBC iPlayer) have the option to join in on the portability project as well.

“Today’s agreement will bring concrete benefits to Europeans,” said the Gaggle’s VP in charge of the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip. “People who have subscribed to their favourite series, music and sports events at home will be able to enjoy them when they travel in Europe. This is a new important step in breaking down barriers in the Digital Single Market.

“I warmly thank the European Parliament rapporteur Jean-Marie Cavada, the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU and all those involved in reaching today’s compromise. Agreements are now needed on our other proposals to modernise EU copyright rules and ensure a wider access to creative content across borders. I count on the European Parliament and Member States to make it happen.”

The news follows the recent announcement that roaming charges in the European Union will be phased out over the next five years, and could threaten the perception the Gaggle of Red-tapers move at snail pace. But don’t worry, the Gaggle aren’t dusting off the sprinting spikes just yet. The agreement must first be formally confirmed by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. Once adopted, the rules will become applicable in all EU Member States by beginning of 2018.

Both of the recent updates are solid steps towards the single economy, but both are areas which the Gaggle of Red-tapers has been urged to address for some time. Progress towards the single market is promising, despite the UK doing its best to undermine the whole proposition. Maybe if UK citizens thought most EU rules were as practical and useful to consumers as these ones they might not have voted to leave.

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