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Netflix, Now TV, Amazon Video could be ‘portable’ across Europe by 2017

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Streaming services are great, until you try to take them to a different country…

Online streaming services should be “portable” across EU borders, the European Commission has said.

The executive branch of the European Union has revealed proposals that overhaul how subscription services operate on the continent (1,2).

The proposals will first need to be approved by the European Parliament before they can be rolled out across the EU.

At present, Europeans travelling within the EU may be cut off from online services providing films, sports broadcasts, music, e-books or games that they have paid for in their home country,” writes the Commission.

The proposed regulation will resolve this issue by allowing vendors to sell content across the EU under a single set of copyright rules.

Because the proposal is for a ‘Regulation’, once it’s adopted, it will be “directly applicable” in all of the 28 EU member states.

“People who legally buy content – films, books, football matches, TV series – must be able to carry it with them anywhere they go in Europe,” says Andrus Ansip, the Commission’s VP for the digital single market, as reported by the BBC.

He adds: “We want to ensure the portability of content across borders.”

The EU proposals will impact vendors that offer streaming services in Europe, including Sky (Now TV), Netflix, and Amazon's Prime Instant Video.

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video

When questioned on the matter, a Sky spokesperson provided TrustedReviews with the following statement:

"We will need to consider the plans in detail but we welcome anything that helps customers get even more value from their subscriptions. We look forward to working with the Commission to ensure that the proposals are part of a robust framework that supports investment in European content."

Netflix also gave us a statement:

"We're committed to providing Netflix members with great programming wherever they are and are studying the EU's proposal."

The European Commission says it expects cross-border portability “to be a reality in 2017”.

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