The European Commission is to push forward with proposals to change the way streaming services work across all countries in the region. If approved, it means that you will be able to use any of your streaming subscriptions no matter where you are in Europe.
Currently, for example, you cannot watch a live Premier League football match on NOW TV or Sky Go unless you are in the UK, thanks to rights issues. However, under the new proposals, the ruling will ensure that you can access either service and watch content streamed live no matter where you are on the continent, be that Germany, France or any other EU country.
BBC iPlayer could be affected too as it restricts viewing to country of origin currently.
Netflix is a little different as you can already use your membership in any country that the service operates in, albeit to access content tailored specifically for that region. However, it seems as if the ruling would force Netflix to allow users to both access the content of the country they subscribed within, no matter where they travel, and also in EU countries that do not currently support the service.
Other subscription streaming services, such as Amazon Instant Video, will also be affected.
Netflix and Sky are both presently examining the plans, while the BBC states that it is interested in offering iPlayer live access across Europe for travelling Brits, but would need the UK government legislation to include online streaming as part of the licence fee to be implemented first. This would allow it to register customers, with UK licence-fee payers gaining roaming access.
Without this change in the licence fee, iPlayer is currently exempt from the EU proposals.
The proposals also include changes in copyright laws so people can access content bought legally online can use them wherever they want, without regional restrictions. A single set of copyright rules will be drawn up to apply across the whole of Europe.
The proposals need to be approved by European parliament before being implemented.
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