A key plank in the Digital Market Strategy is described by the European Commission as “preventing unjustified geo-blocking”, and legislative proposals are planned for the first half of 2016 to address this practice. Online sellers use geo-blocking for commercial reasons to either deny access to websites and content based in other member states, re-route traffic to local websites or apply different prices. By limiting consumer opportunities and choice, geo-blocking is a significant cause of consumer dissatisfaction and fragmentation of the Internal Market.
This seminar will focus on territoriality issues regarding copyright in the audiovisual sector. Key questions for the seminar include:
- Can geo-blocking ever be justified, or are the plans on geo-blocking and copyright too cautious?
- Is geo-targeting a legitimate practice arising from commercial agreements between producers and distributors to segment the market, e.g in the cinema industry?
- Do geo-blocking restrictions infringe the rules of EU competition law?
Felice Simonelli, Researcher at CEPS : Geo-blocking in the audiovisual sector