Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has welcomed the completion of new rules from the European Parliament on the ‘cross-border portability’ of paid-for online content.
Users of these services will now be able to access the same shows, e-books and music in all EU member states.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, MEP Clune said that access to paid content had been restricted due to geo-blocking rules.
“Previously, copyright-protected online content lacked what is known as cross-border portability, meaning that not all of your content could be used when abroad.
“However these new rules change that based on your permanent residence of one member state so that content available in that country will be available when you travel in the EU, for business, holidays or for studies.
“Many Irish consumers subscribe to online streaming sites. For example Netflix has around 200,000 Irish customers, and Spotify charges up to €9.99 per month for access to their premium content so it is important that consumers have uniform EU standards when it comes to these services.
“In fact, many consumers use these sites most frequently when travelling or abroad for studying, so ensuring they will be able to use them in another member state is the right step to take.
“The member state of residence is verified through random checks such as the subscriber’s IP address, but always guaranteeing user privacy. Customers will be informed of the verification measures and personal data will always be protected.
“The vote by the European Parliament today is the final hurdle to making this agreement law, with an expected entry into force of Spring 2018.”