New rules for online content in the European Union

Spending on digital video has grown exponentially in recent years, and 60% of young Europeans expect to access their online content wherever they go. A new legislation adopted in 2017 by the European Parliament allows consumers henceforth to take their online content with them wherever they go in the EU.

Many actors and other creatives depend on copyright to make a living. It’s organised nationally: the rights to a movie for instance need to be bought in every country where it is shown. Europeans are increasingly turning to online streaming platforms to watch these movies. But this poses a challenge: what happens when they travel? Their subscriptions often stop at the border. We needed a system that could allow for mobility. That is why portability resolved the problem of preserving territoriality while granting temporary mobility for content that users could subscribe to in their own country. The Parliament adopted a new legislation making it possible for consumers to temporarily stream the same music, shows or movies anywhere in the EU. If someone lives, for instance, in Germany but goes on holidays or visits family or works in Spain, they will be able to access the services they had in Germany in any other country in the Union, because the text covers the EU. Platforms will be able to check their subscribers’ country of residence, for instance by asking for a tax statement or phone bill.


The Digital Economy Act, which passed into law late in 2017 in the UK, means people could now face tenyear prison sentences if they illegally stream copyrighted content. The new legislation covers a wide number of areas, including broadband speeds, access to online pornography and government data-sharing. Amid the rising popularity of Kodi, anyone caught streaming TV shows, films and sports events illegally could technically face a decade behind bars.


According to Armand Rabinowitz, Senior Director of Strategy and Workgroups, Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG), there are differing schools of thought about BYOC based on what some of the major brands are doing today: “Some have elected to leverage ‘casting’ like Chromecast for streaming from personal devices or Miracast for mirroring. The implementations across hotel brands are quite varied. Some brands have tried to simplify the casting setup procedure by integrating it with branded mobile apps, while others have taken the approach of web-based portals for configuration. Other brands are taking the approach of Over- The-Top apps on set-top-boxes STBs where guests can login and stream from their accounts. Each iteration of these solutions shows improvement, but there is no silverbullet yet”.

Photo: Europa Building