back to article New EU rules on portability of online content services move closer

Planned new EU laws aimed at making online content more accessible to those that subscribe to it are closer to being finalised after a deal struck on the new rules earlier this month was endorsed by representatives of national governments across the EU. At the beginning of February, the Maltese presidency of the Council of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The BBC currently block real-time distribution of some programmes in the UK via the internet on iPlayer. Yet they are being transmitted simultaneously as digital signals on terrestrial TV and probably satellite. Presumably they are also available via BT or Virgin over their subscriber digital connections.

    Does this EU ruling mean that the BBC will have to find a way to verify their paid up licence holders using iPlayer? Thus delivering them all the live content that their licence entitles them to receive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Yes, but it will take a few years, by then we will be out of the EU and then the ruling can be ignored

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Optional

        "we will be out of the EU"

        If the rules come into force in 2018 we won't be.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Optional

          Yes the rules will come into force in 2018, it will take the BBC two years to work out how to get this to work (at a cost of a few million), and then the rules will not apply. Atos will be laughing all the way to the bank

    2. Andy 97

      This has nothing to do with if the user is a verified LFP, it have everything to do with the rights 'deal' negotiated with the content producer or rights holder.

      For instance, certain sports are available via television (UHF, dSAT, cable), but the rights don't cover IPTV.

      The usual reason is the additional [rights] cost of publishing content to the internet or that other distributors have a deal to charge for that content online.

    3. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge


      The BT TV boxes that I have seen require a terrestrial TV antenna to play the freeview channels "live". Don't know about Virgin but Sky is, of course, satellite transmission.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BT/BBC

        To be clear the rules seem to say that content has to be made available to you if you're in another EU country. The rules do not force providers to check, so the BBC could just open up iPlayer to all EU IP addresses.

        They won't want to of course but that's their decision.

        A lot of EU rules, once singed off by the Council of Ministers and the EU Parliament then have a period for countries to adopt them. I didn't see anything in this one to know if such a period will exist.

  2. tiggity Silver badge


    Will probably claim it does not apply to them as there's not really a subscription model wrt iPlayer - people can just tick I have a licence (in UK) to get content so no proper verification.

    Whereas with some others e.g. ITV online offering you can pay extra and login (no ads, access to extra content) so ITV do have a subscription system so assume it would apply to them

    Doubtless they will claim iPlayer is just a nice service they provide, totally unrelated to TV licence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC

      "Doubtless they will claim iPlayer is just a nice service they provide, totally unrelated to TV licence."

      It has been made clear that legally you need a TV licence to watch BBC iPlayer programmes - either live or time-shifted.

      That system operates on trust and geographic IP address blocking. Which is no different from people in the UK watching the digital terrestrial broadcast programmes on a TV - which also depends on trust and geographic limited signal coverage.

      1. elf25s

        Re: BBC

        funny you mentioned that there are few articles and comments about the very same thing on torrentfreak while back. but most savvy users either use proxies or vpn to get over the restrictions.

        general concensus in community is all regional local blocks are worthless and waste of money and resources that could be spent elsewere

  3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    will not be able to charge extra

    "Content service providers will not be able to charge extra to provide for the portability of their services under the new framework."

    If anything, it will save them money. They don't need to geoblock, just confirm that the bank account being used to pay for the sub is in the same country as the service being paid for. The banks already make it difficult enough to open a new account, let alone an account in a country in which you are not resident, so although a small minority might be able to get around the system, the vast majority or people won't. It sounds like a win-win all around and I suspect the only reason for the geoblocking in the first place was because of the demands of the rights holders, not the streaming services.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: will not be able to charge extra

      I've opened accounts in several different EU countries. It wasn't particularly hard.

      The UK was a bit tricky because our banking system is a bit arcane but it's doable.

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