The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are set to examine the European Commission’s proposal on ensuring the cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market1 . The undersigned organisations of film directors, screenwriters, authors, film/TV producers, sports rights owners, publishers, distributors, independent VOD services, and cinema exhibitors represent a wide range of skills and activities in Europe’s audiovisual industries.
We support balanced measures to provide consumers with temporary access to online film and TV services to which they have legally subscribed, when they are travelling throughout the European Union away from their habitual residence, while avoiding the risk that acceptance of pan-EU licensing will be compelled, either by accident or design. However, we cannot support measures that interfere with the economic and legal system for financing and distributing audiovisual works and content in Europe for the benefit of consumers – an ecosystem notable for its output, and on which jobs, growth and cultural diversity depend, and which itself relies upon the ability to enter into exclusive, single territory licenses.
Unfortunately, the draft Regulation proposed by the European Commission is based on an incomplete impact assessment with no concrete evidence of its effects on the market and which does not fully appreciate how the sector functions. As a result, it lacks crucial safeguards repeatedly advocated by the audiovisual sector. Accordingly, in order to protect the foundation on which audiovisual content is financed, marketed and distributed which has enabled our sector to offer consumers more than 3,000 audiovisual online services across Europe4 , we urge that certain key modifications are made to the draft Regulation.
Download the full statement here.