Cable Europe: EU geoblocking decision ‘lets down consumers’
November 21, 2017
By Colin Mann
Trade body Cable Europe has levelled criticism at the European Parliament following a vote on the Copyright Regulation taken in the JURI Committee.
The vote effectively excludes some technological platforms such as mobile and the Internet from the scope of the retransmission framework – a move which the industry body describes as “out of step” with both technological developments and consumer behaviour. The vote also excludes functionalities closely connected to the linear retransmission (Catch Up and Restart TV) from this framework.
According to Cable Europe, the clearing of rights is a difficult and complex process. As the Copyright Regulation is crafted, Europe had an opportunity to make the process more straightforward, and therefore improve the availability of content in a given Member State, it contends.
“This is a deeply disappointing outcome,” remarked Caroline van Weede, Managing Director of Cable Europe. “The Parliament has done consumers a disservice by failing to be more progressive. The current licensing structure for cable retransmission of linear TV programmes should also apply to mobile and the internet. The exclusion of time-shifted services from the EP text is another missed opportunity.”
“Conversely, a technology neutral approach would have served consumers well, supporting investment in new services and the availability of content anytime, any place, anywhere.
“This decision is out of step both with today’s environment, and with our aspirations to serve the digital consumer of tomorrow,” she declared.
The Copyright Regulation (also referred to as the ‘SatCab Regulation), lays down the rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to online transmissions of broadcasters, and the retransmissions of television and radio programmes.