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Cross-border portability of online content services [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Tambiama Madiega (2nd edition),

© Nmedia / Fotolia

In February 2017, negotiators from the European Parliament, the Council and Commission reached a compromise on the proposal for a regulation on cross-border portability of online content services. The EP must now formally approve the new rules, enabling consumers to access their online subscriptions for content services when they travel across the EU and are temporarily outside their Member State of residence.

The compromise text amends the Commission’s proposal in various ways. It clarifies that providers of free-of-charge online content services can also offer portability services to their subscribers. The notion of temporary presence in other Member States has been tightened and refers to a limited period of time. The concept of Member State of residence and its verification mechanism are also more explicitly defined. At the EP’s request, some safeguards have been added to ensure data protection and privacy are respected (especially for IP address checks), and a waiver clause has been introduced which allows content providers to avoid verifying the residence of their customers when all the holders of copyright, related rights, or other rights in the content agree.


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on ensuring the cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market
Committee responsible: Legal Affairs (JURI)

COM(2015) 627 of 09.12.2015

procedure ref.: 2015/0284(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure

Rapporteur: Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, France)
Next steps expected: First-reading vote in plenary


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