The European Commission is preparing to unlock territorial copyright protection for TV, film and music, as part of its Digital Single Market (DSM) blueprint, unveiled. But it will also include key exemptions for the audiovisual sector,
Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, announced that the forthcoming strategy will be divided into three sections, and published on 6 May.
The three sections deal with consumer interests, infrastructure and industry, with copyright and geo-blocking of digital content to be dealt with under the first heading.
Across the EU, digital services such as music streaming site Spotify, or shopping behemoth Amazon, often remain confined to national borders, with separate accounts required from one country to another.
Günther Oettinger, the Commissioner in charge of Digital Economy and Society, is set to publish a proposed copyright reform by the autumn, an issue subject to strong lobbying.
The EU executive wants to overhaul copyright rules to enable simpler cross-border online access to digital services throughout and between member states.
“Let us do away with all those fences and walls that block us online,” Ansip said in a statement.
One key aspect of the the Digital Single Market will be to limit geo-blocking, which happens when rights holders such as television broadcasters prevent users from accessing material when they are based in another country.
Such blocking is caused by the limitation of copyright licenses within member states, and also commercial agreements between broadcasters and producers.