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Now you can watch Netflix everywhere in the EU!

EU Parliament makes sure that you can watch your favourite shows during your holidays 

The access to subscribed online paid services such as Netflix, Sky, Amazon Prime or Spotify abroad has been mostly restricted so far. But this is going to change in a few months, since the EU Parliament has now approved a new regulation that enables EU citizens who are subscribed to an online paid service in their home country to use the same service with the same content in any other EU country.

Primarily the rights of consumers with permanent residence in the EU are being strengthened by the new regulation, that will apply from the first half of 2018. Thereby, the providers are also enabled to offer their online paid services readily without having to purchase any country-specific licences. Concurrently the copyrights aren’t affected in any way.

To verify that the services are only used for temporary residence – as in e.g. holidays, business trips or a semester abroad – the providers must check the country of residence of the consumer. For this purpose they can make use of several measures, which don’t necessarily require to determine the users’ location and don’t infringe their privacy. For example, providers can check payment details, public tax information or IP addresses. The user always needs to be informed about which measures the provider is using.

With the consent of Parliament, Council and Commission already expressed, now the Member States need to formally approve the regulation, which generally is mere formality.

The Portability Regulation marks another important step to overcome obstacles within the digital Single Market and to enhance a smoothly functioning European Single Market. To further pursue this goal, the member states are as well asked to execute other rules in this context, especially the new EU copyright rules.

Lisa Hollfelder