Portability of digital services in the EU: Council adopts new regulation

posted on 12 June, 2017   (public)

Portability of digital services in the EU: Council adopts new regulation

On 8 June 2017, the Council of the European Union adopted the new regulation on the portability of digital services across the EU, which will allow consumers who paid for online content services in their member state of residence to be able to access them in all the other member states.

The regulation will apply to all content services which are provided against a payment. Free to air services, such as those provided by certain public broadcasters, will have the option to opt in the legal regime of the regulation provided that they verify beforehand the country of residence of their subscribers.

The regulation aims to remove obstacles to cross-border portability on online services usually arising from the fact that the rights for the transmission of content protected by copyright are often licensed on a territorial basis. The new measures intend to ensure equal access from abroad to content legally acquired or subscribed to in the member state of residence and in the member state where the user is currently situated.

  • In order to avoid abuses from users situated outside the EU, service providers will have the possibility to verify the subscribers’ member state of residence. This verification should be done in line with the EU data protection legislation, meaning that it should stay reasonable, proportionate and effective.
  • Service providers will also be authorised to cease the access to the online service in case the subscriber is unable to prove his/her member state of residence.

The new rules are expected to enter into force in the beginning of 2018 (nine months after the publication of the regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union).

The regulation on portability of digital services is part of the Digital Single Market Strategy launched by the European Commission on 6 May 2015 and is built on three pillars: (1) better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe; (2) creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish; (3) maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.

Source: Council of the European Union Website