Regulation of cross-border portability of online content services


A new Regulation proposed by the European Commission aims to ensure that “subscribers to online content services in the Union, when temporarily present in a Member State, can access and use these services”. While consumer groups have welcomed the proposal, others have expressed concern about the lack of detail, its unenforceability and its potentially detrimental impact on the market. The proposal was the main topic of discussion at a seminar organised by the CEPS Digital Forum chaired by Colin Blackman (CEPS) on 15th February. Giuseppe Mazziotti (Trinity College Dublin and CEPS) and Felice Simonelli (CEPS) introduced the legal and economic issues, highlighting the definition of the concepts of ‘habitual residence’ and ‘temporary presence’ and their verification. Emilie Anthonis (ACT) called for legal certainty to ensure respect of expectations, rights and obligations of all parties concerned regarding habitual residence, authentication, temporary presence, scope of application, level playing field and a workable transition. Agustin Reyna (BEUC), Julia Reda (MEP) and Vita Jukne (European Commission) joined the lively debate, which reached a general consensus that, while the proposed Regulation offered a targeted solution to the issue of portability of audiovisual media content, greater clarity and precision were necessary. For more information, see here.