It probably won't be long before you can take your home version of Netflix with you when travelling in the EU.
The European Parliament has made its first steps towards allowing us to access our local Netflix subscription across every one of its 28 member states, which have endorsed the proposal. If these plans proceed, the European Commission hopes they will come into effect in 2017.
As well as Netflix, the proposal (which ministers will decide upon on May 26) would also cover subscriptions for services such as Sky and Canal+.
The move echoes plans by the EC to allow users access to their domestic mobile phone tariffs while travelling abroad, and is in line with the EU's desire to bring its members' markets more in line with one another into a more homogenous single market.
Locked Up markets
The move would mean that in effect the EU would become a single market for content licensing.
Currently there are large differences in content between member states. Spain's massively popular series Locked Up, has been licensed for broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK. However under these new proposals anyone wanting to watch the show could simply log into a Spanish streaming service.
This move would consequently undermines the fee Channel 4 has paid for the right to broadcast the show.
Historically, people have needed to use VPNs to access foreign content, however this year Netflix has announced its desire to crack down on the practice, which undermines its agreement with rights holders for broadcast rights in a given territory.
Producers and film studios are currently wary of the changes which they believe may reduce the amount they can charge for the right to broadcast their shows. A broadcaster such as Channel 4 may not pay as much for the right to broadcast a show if it knows that a user can simply stream it from abroad.
However recent moves by Sky to licence broadcast rights on a pan-european basis suggests that this is the direction the market is moving in.
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