Today the European Parliament has formally approved in its plenary the regulation on Cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market, enabling consumers to access their online subscriptions for content services when they travel across the EU.
FIAD welcomes the proposal, given that the legislators found the right balance to give citizens access they need when they are travelling in other member states, while making sure that the market conditions for rightholders are not greatly affected and the principles of territoriality are not eroded.
However, two other proposals, currently under discussion might have negative consequences for the European citizens. The Proposal for a Regulation regarding online transmissions (SatCab Regulation) “fails to prove its worth as certainly undermines the value of audiovisual rights and leads in fact to an erosion of the territorial exclusivity which is not just an annoying practice, but the cornerstone of pre-financing, production, marketing and ultimate distribution of culturally diverse audiovisual content”, said Nikolas Moschakis, Secretary General of FIAD.
Furthermore, the possible inclusion of audiovisual services in the proposal on Geo-blocking, without proper evidence for its viability, is another risk not only to territorial exclusivity, but to consumers who might be able to access less diverse content in higher prices.
The Digital Single Market does not mean uniformity. While FIAD welcomes the portability regulation, we are greatly worried about the major consequences that the SatCab and Geoblocking Regulations would have for the future of the European film distribution sector, the whole AV industry value chain and ultimately European citizens.