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Cross-border portability of online content services

The government is consulting on the domestic enforcement of the Portability Regulation, which will come into force on 1 April 2018.

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The IPO launched a consultation on its proposed approach to enforcement of the EU Portability Regulation which ends on the 31 January 2018.

From 1 April 2018, online streaming services will be required to allow EU based subscribers access to paid-for content when temporarily in another EU Member State, for example when on holiday. Free services and those tied to the payment of licence fees, (for example BBC iPlayer) can offer this service but are not obliged to. Service providers are not allowed to impose an additional charge to provide portable services or to take steps to decrease the quality of the service in other Member States.

The Regulation contains a number of safeguards to ensure copyright is protected. For example, providers must verify the Member State of residence of subscribers to ensure they are entitled to receive content. A failure to verify subscribers may result in copyright infringement.

Appropriate enforcement mechanisms need to be in place in UK law when the Portability Regulation comes into effect. We have considered how to provide this and our proposed approach is outlined in the technical consultation.

Questions on the consultation process should be directed to portability@ipo.gov.uk.

Published 4 January 2018