EU deal to allow Brits to watch Netflix UK abroad?
James R | On 16, May 2016
A new deal between EU member states could mean that you will still be able to watch Netflix UK when abroad.
Proposals were “tentatively agreed” by countries within the European Union on Friday 13th May, reports Reuters, following the announcement of attempts to break down online media barries across the continent last year. The agreement will be put ahead of ministers on 26th May and, if formally endorsed, will enable temporary roaming on subscription services.
That means that when you travel abroad on holiday, you would still be able to access all your normal favourites on UK Netflix, rather than be restricted to the catalogue available in another territory. If approved, the law could come into force as soon as 2017, when EU mobile roaming charges are set to be abolished.
The provisional agreement is good news for viewers, with customers of subscription services such as Canal+ freed from the frustration of international copyright restrictions. The move, however, would also spell a major shift for the media industry, which currently licenses content out on a country-by-country basis – although the ability to access content overseas would only be for a “limited amount of time”.
Some broadcasters are reportedly concerned that studios could charge more for content to be portable, while producers themselves are wary of a law that could potential begin the process of eroding territorial copyright altogether – preventing them from being able to sell the rights to titles over and over again to different parts of the world. Broadcasters and VOD services, meanwhile, might not be willing to pay as much for a title if it is not exclusive to them and is also available in another country.