EU Digital Single Market – Portability of online content services

Thought I’d bring this to everyone’s attention, in case you didn’t know about it.

Basically, if you provide a paid content service in the EU, then for a user who is temporarily still within the EU – though not in their country of residence – you need to be able to provide access to the same content they would have in their country of residence. So for services like Netfix, if a user subscribes in the UK goes on holiday to Spain, they will still need to be able to access UK content they’ve paid for.

As always, the detail is in the implementation :wink:

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Will that prevent the BBC’s current licensing restrictions when Brexit is cancelled?

I wonder how they will implement that. I have some friends who were previously able to expand on the Netflix catalogue by using a VPN: they could choose which region’s content to view simply by changing their VPN exit point. However, Netflix stopped that a year or two ago, presumably under pressure from the movie houses, and access via a VPN is now disallowed completely.

It would make sense to set the region based on the customer’s registered address though - I wonder why they don’t just do that?

I imagine so. The memo doesn’t appear to give much detail away on this, but it does say:

To me, billing details of payment makes the most sense, but I’m sure there are likely to be some edge cases there.


BBC is at its core a public-access network free at point of access, which makes these rules seem unlikely to affect it(only compulsory if paid).

Also, it appears that if Brexit went the way of Norway (EFTA & EEA membership) such rules could still apply due to continued Single Market membership, but whether that happens remains to be seen.

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