back to article Tech, telcos, and digital crusties gang up against the EU's Digital Single Market

It’s normal to hear copyright industry lobbyists complain about the European Commission’s hasty reform agenda – but not people who the commission might have presumed would be its supporters. Out-of-touch Brussels Eurocrats were blasted by tech industry groups, telcos, and even a digital rights group for, they said, trying to …

  1. msknight


    How old does one have to be, to be considered a digital crusty?

    1. David Roberts

      Re: Question...

      Not really an age thing.

      More a ratio between digital pleasure and personal hygiene.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Motion Picture Association president Stan McCoy mocked Europe’s tinkering with digital trade…

    Not that there is a conflict of interest there…

    The issue is quite simply why should digital media be exempt from the rigours of the single market? The European Commission is obliged to enforce the single market and remove any barriers to do so. Whether this is subsidies, discriminatory tariffs or road tolls or geo-blocking doesn't matter.

    All of the arguments agains the single market are smoke and mirrors attempting to deflect attention from it. Cross-border demand from consumers in any field (electricity, banking, mobile phones, etc) is small but that does not mean that consumers don't benefit from the removal of barriers (roaming fees, transaction costs, separation of production and ownership).

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)


      European consumers don't benefit if the diverse native cultural output they can access today is replaced by bland and homogenous Hollywood pap. You've destroyed the village.

      This is the argument made in this piece, and it's one you are trying very hard to engage with. Hollywood would actually benefit from the loss of European production.

      "Whether this is subsidies, discriminatory tariffs or road tolls or geo-blocking doesn't matter."

      Actually it does matter, because cultural diversity is something the EU explicitly says it wants to preserve, not destroy. To support Ansip's DSM proposals, and argue effectively for them, you have to understand the points being made.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Does not compute

    "Ashworth pointed out that according to 2012 research by the EU, only 3.5 per cent of consumers wanted to access AV material across borders and only one per cent want to buy it across national borders."

    If the demand is so low why go to the trouble of geoblocking? It must cost money to put in place. Is that a rat I can smell?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Does not compute

      Here's the example I didn't think of when making my post:

      A paperback copy of a Harry Potter book can be bought from any shop in the EU and sent to any address in the EU. Why should the films be treated any differently?

      As for cultural diversity, something which is so close to Hollywood's heart that it floods developing economies with cheap product, as any fule knows, that it is investment in production and not scheduling that is important. This was established by the early 1990s back when the French, with Jacques Lang as culture minister, were fighting a rearguard action, while the UK was leading the way with independent production.

      Countries such as the Netherlands have long imported lots of non-local content and still managed to sustain a healthy* local production.

      *okay Endemol does come with a lot of crap, but it's popular crap.

  4. Zmodem

    BT's business plan already involves thinking everyone is real thick

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Lies, Lies and Politicians

    I think both sides are bullshitting they "extensive" research.

    Ask UK football fans if the want to see Albanian foot in the UK , most will say no.

    Ask UK football fans if the want to see UK football in the UK at Albanian prices , most will say yes.

    Ask Football fans living in Spain if they want to see UK football, some may yes

    Ask UK Football fans living in Alacante in Spain if they want to see UK football, lots will say yes

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

      OTOH I don't want to see anybody's football anywhere.

  6. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    out of touch?

    Two interesting soundbites from that:

    only 3.5 per cent of consumers wanted to access AV material across borders


    both the Premier League and the Motion Picture Association, who blamed out-of-touch elites.

    I would say that the PL and MPA are the out-of-touch elites, since the two biggest reasons I see for people wanting out-of-area content are either to watch live football (blocked by the Premier League to boost actual game attendance) and to watch films that haven't been released in their region yet (an incomprehensible MPA tactic).

    Perhaps if the PL and MPA stopped trying to screw people over, there would really be no interest in, and no need for, cross-border access, and the "problem" would simply evaporate?

  7. D.A.

    "A ropey Romanian ISP".

    Hang on a minute - I lived in Romania for two years, and had faster and more stable broadband there than I've ever had in the UK. In addition, mobile connectivity and signal coverage was also much better.

    The Romanians are *miles* ahead of the UK.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the same as ANY regulation....

    proposed by the EUC. They haven't got clue about what they are supposed to be regulating and they wouldn't know one if it weighed 10 tons and dropped in their laps.

    Even bad politicians do a better job.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Hang on there

    “Only 20 per cent of our customers have a high demand for portability, and fewer than one third have any demand at all,"

    I take that to mean that either you really need it, or you have no use for it.

    Fine. Is that a reason to ignore 20% of your customers ? Not so sure.

  10. DCLXV

    Forgive my ignorance but isn't the single-market concept beneficial to indie content creators looking to sell their stuff without needing to pay for lawyers to write a bunch of different licensing agreements?

  11. Warm Braw Silver badge

    The numbers showed only a tiny demand for cross-border material among ordinary people

    I think "surely there are more important things to do first" comes after "it wasn't in the manifesto" and "the proposals are hasty and haven't been thought through" in the list of lame arguments attempting to rubbish any eminently sensible proposal that threatens some lucrative established interest.

    Territorial restrictions on "intellectual property" are as outmoded as currency controls and resale price maintenance. This is entirely within the Commission's proper remit and they should be pressing forward. They should also be doing the same on the abuse of trademarks to prevent "grey imports" of physical goods, though that's a different matter...

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