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European Union Plans to Ban Geo-Blocking, Other Unfair Copyright Practices

Posted by: , 15:28 AEST, Sat May 9, 2015

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EU planning major copyright shake-up to make copyright laws fairer to consumers, including ending the practice of geo-blocking
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Image/Photo Credit: Netflix

The European Union have unveiled its Digital Single Market Strategy, which calls for an end to unfair copyright practices within Europe.

At the top of the list of changes would be the abolition of "unjustified" geo-blocking within the EU, something that the European Commission says unfairly prejudices users.

Services such as Netflix are only available in selected EU countries due to licensing restrictions, with geographical restrictions in place for other regions. The EU wants to end this practice, and ensure EU citizens get fair and equal treatment, regardless of where they live.

"I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market - wherever they are in Europe," said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Other major changes call for easier access to content for consumers, and to allow more portability of content purchased in one EU country, to be used in another.

In essence, the EU plans to revamp copyright laws to bring a better balance between giving rightsholders the protection they need, and also making sure consumers are not inconvenienced in the process.

"We have to prepare for a modern society and will table proposals balancing the interests of consumers and industry," said Günther Oettinge, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society.


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