On 16 February EIF Steering Committee member Sabine Verheyen MEP chaired a diverse panel of speakers to share their thoughts on Content Portability in the EU. Academics, industry representatives and consumer rights watchdogs offered their views on the European Commission's recently proposed cross-border portability regulation.
To better understand what's at stake and how various groups will be affected, we also asked our panelists to briefly answer the following questions: Do you think that EU consumers should have a right of portability? Are you optimistic that a balanced framework can be created?
Watch what they had to say:
Sabine Verheyen first invited speakers to express their views on the proposed Regulation and its contribution to the Digital Single Market.
Agata Gerba, Team Leader – Legal Adviser (Copyright) at DG CONNECT, European Commission, one of the authors of the proposed regulation on the cross-border portability of online content services, noted that the proposal is addressing the problem of content portability only, not cross-border content access, as this issue is being looked into separately. According to the Commission’s proposal the right to access content should follow the subscriber when temporarily travelling abroad.
Prof. Dr. P. Bernt Hugenholtz, Professor of Copyright Law at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam, called the proposal innovative and consumer friendly. He noted some questions that still need to be clarified like what is a temporary stay abroad or what services will be covered by this new Regulation and how it will be enforced in Member States.
Anne-Carole Nourisson, Senior Advisor at Watchever, spoke about the proposal from the consumer, right holder and content distributor points of view. She stressed the importance of European content discoverability for EU consumers.
Malene Ehlers, COO and Attorney-at-law at Nordisk Film Production, presented a film production and distribution industry view on the Regulation. She expressed support for a balanced solution of content access while the consumer is briefly moving across the EU. She concluded that the industry still needs a more defined and limited scheme to fully support the proposal.
Prof. Eugenio Prosperetti, Professor “Legal Aspects of Information Technology”, School of Law of Rome “LUISS Guido Carli” University, spoke about the legal and technical aspects that consumers and content providers would face when the proposed Regulation comes into force.
Agustin Reyna, Digital Team Leader, BEUC - European Consumer Rights Group, as first responder presented guidelines for this proposal from the consumer point of view:
_No time limit to access online subscriptions when abroad
_Proportional and reasonable verification mechanisms of country of residence
_The mandatory “portability right” not to be limited by contract.