back to article EU axes geo-blocking: Upsets studios, delights consumers

The European Parliament has approved a draft law that geo-blocking, the act of offering an online content service in one European Union (EU) country and that country alone, will be scrapped in the first half of next year. Coupled with the recent law to end mobile roaming charges in the EU as of next month, the OTT industry as …

  1. AndrueC Silver badge
    Happy

    Of course no one wants to upset US studios

    Citation needed.

  2. Mage Silver badge
    Happy

    Axed Geoblocking

    "if a consumer is signed up to Canal+ in France and travels to Germany, they will be able to access their TV Everywhere account. Which of course does not help Canal+ sell its content in Germany, but it is a step in the right direction towards consumer protection."

    Yes it does.

    And helps sell it in France.

    People travel.

    Sadly after 2019 this will not apply to UK.

    In other news the "Evil" EU is having:

    * Better refuge / asylum controls, though the UK problems (when May was Home Secretary) are NON-EU people, purely under UK Control.

    * Better EU voice and Data Roaming

    * Lower, harmonised parcel & letter prices within EU

    * Action against predatory USA corporations exploiting privacy

    * Better data protection.

    Also loads of other good stuff that UK has often tried to block.

    I've no sympathy for the USA and Sky (controlled by ex Australian USA Murdoch even without Fox take over). Their divide and exploit attitude (even extending to jeans, software and gadgets) is despicable. It was a COMMON Market before it was the EU.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Axed Geoblocking

      I can see a flourishing local industry in VPN and SmartDNS services for the UK so expats can get at Doctor Who. *

      Which will be paid for in a strong and stable currency, which may or may not be the GBP.

      And will be monitored in realtime, of course.

      * Unfortunately due to a data centre power failure, repeats of programs where the Doctor says, "Don't you think she looks tired?" will not be aired.

    2. Commswonk

      Re: Axed Geoblocking

      "It was a COMMON Market before it was the EU."

      Perhaps if it had stayed like that we wouldn't be where we are now...

    3. streaky

      Re: Axed Geoblocking

      Sadly after 2019 this will not apply to UK.

      Wouldn't get too excited. It prevents blocking within the union, it doesn't prevent the union itself being treated as a third class citizen by publishers and studios. Nor does it prevent studios refusing to release at all within the EU.

      Also most UK providers already provide better roaming deals than the directive requires over a wider area than the EU, just by market forces (funny that).

      Harmonised letters. Is this 1942?

      + They're not gonna touch the US on piracy.

      Your data protection thing, have you even read the GDPR?

      1. Mephistro

        Re: Axed Geoblocking

        "It prevents blocking within the union, it doesn't prevent the union itself being treated as a third class citizen by publishers and studios. Nor does it prevent studios refusing to release at all within the EU."

        Yep, the American content publishers will gladly lose 500 million people as potential customers, and give European content providers the upper hand in the EU.

        </Sarc>

        1. streaky

          Re: Axed Geoblocking

          Yep, the American content publishers will gladly lose 500 million people as potential customers, and give European content providers the upper hand in the EU.

          Nothing to stop them staging a demonstration and releasing a movie or five 4 months late or completely pulling a few that maybe they knew wouldn't do well just to make a point. I'm in no position to gauge their anger on this though - but hypothetically they could just say screw it for a whole bunch of content. When the UK leaves the EU there's going to be no native English speaking countries (past tiny markets anyway) in the EU and there's financial reasons alone why that could be a thing.

          English speaking studios are going to I'd imagine rethink their approach to the EU market which could mean many things - but automatically assuming it's going to be good for consumers is extremely naive; do you even know who these guys are? It's probably going to cause all kinds of issues for EU based studios too.

          1. Remy Redert

            Re: Axed Geoblocking

            Just 4 months late? When is this going to happen?

            Entirely too many movies and series release more than half a year later than in the US, if at all, in some parts of Europe. And people wonder why movie piracy and the like remains such a big issue.

          2. LDS Silver badge
            Devil

            'or completely pulling a few'

            Yes, please, don't release 'Baywatch' here....

          3. RegGuy1 Silver badge

            Re: Axed Geoblocking

            When the UK leaves the EU there's going to be no native English speaking countries

            What? You think most of the EU don't speak or understand English? Have you been to Norway -- everyone speaks English; opps, not in the EU. Let me try again. Sweden, everyone I have ever met speaks English, normally in a clearer accent than my Lancashire one. Denmark -- I challenge you to find someone who can't speak English. Finland -- not everyone speaks English, but most do and even in the far north.

            Hmm, what about other places I've been to? Germany, well in western Germany you can't practise German because the buggers keep pushing the conversation to English; I can in the more eastern districts. Poland, you will be surprised how many speak it there. I even met a Polish guy with a strong Geordy accent once. The Netherlands, I'm going to shay no more.

            Moving further south. In Spain and Italy granted there are some who don't speak it, but amongst the young it is quite common. And if you go out to Turkey (ok not EU) in Istanbul everyone is young and everyone speaks Engilsh to some degree.

            What I have I missed? Oh, France. Granted, English outside Paris is far less common, even amonst the young. But to suggest that English is not widely used in the EU is ridiculous. A meeting between a German, Fin and Italian will be in English.

            And we are choosing to leave the EU. We are the idiots.

            1. streaky

              Re: Axed Geoblocking

              What? You think most of the EU don't speak or understand English?

              Apparently you don't. I very clearly said native speakers.

          4. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Axed Geoblocking

            "When the UK leaves the EU there's going to be no native English speaking countries".

            I would consider Ireland a country. Read about it here:

            https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ei.html

            Not that far from the UK either and there is an English colony too.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Axed Geoblocking

              @ Lars

              There are many Irishmen who would take offence at Irish Gaelic being referred to as English. I believe the "English" Colony mostly consists of people of Scottish descent whose native language would presumably have been Scottish Gaelic.

              1. Lars Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Axed Geoblocking

                Hello Pompmpous Git,

                I did provide a link:

                "Languages:

                English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken by approximately 38.7% of the population as a first or second language in 2011; mainly spoken in areas along the western coast)".

                Perhaps I should have used the Joke Alert icon, still the "When the UK leaves the EU there's going to be no native English speaking countries" was rubbish all the same.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: Axed Geoblocking

                  Lars, native means "Belonging to, or natural to, one by reason of the place or country of one's birth, or of the nation to which one belongs." English is the native language of those born in England. In Ireland, English is the native language of the invaders. Confirmed by an Irish friend, accompanied by some very colourful language.

                  BTW, you might want to consider using the clipboard. It's Pompous, not "Pompmpous".

                  1. LDS Silver badge
                    Joke

                    "English is the native language of the invaders"

                    Even in England... they didn't speak English before the Anglo-Saxon and Norman invasions...

                    Anyway, the day Ireland stops using English as the main language, I guess most foreign business will move away, because Irish is not a language spoken by many, and regardless how much I like how it sounds in Irish songs, I don't believe I'm going to learn it.

                    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                      Re: "English is the native language of the invaders"

                      "Even in England... they didn't speak English before the Anglo-Saxon and Norman invasions..."
                      The inhabitants of England, southern and eastern Scotland most certainly spoke English prior to the Norman invasion. It's called Old English. After the Norman invasion, the court language was Norman French, but the vernacular was Middle English.

                      There's no argument that the most common spoken language in Ireland is English and it's vanishingly unlikely to change. The problem arises when the claim is made that English is the native language of Ireland. Likely it will become so, but that time is not now when you can get a split lip and two black eyes for making such a claim.

                      Is fearr Gaeilge briste, ná Béarla clíste.

                      Oh, and

                      Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Axed Geoblocking

                    In Ireland, English is the native language of the invaders.

                    So is Irish, the Gaels were not the original inhabitants of the island.

                    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                      Re: Axed Geoblocking

                      "So is Irish, the Gaels were not the original inhabitants of the island."
                      But I don't think the original inhabitants are complaining.

            2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Axed Geoblocking

              "When the UK leaves the EU there's going to be no native English speaking countries".

              I would consider Ireland a country.

              Emglish is also an official language of Malta, another EU member.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Axed Geoblocking

                "Emglish [sic] is also an official language of Malta, another EU member."
                There ya go! And I thought they spoke Maltese, the only Semitic official language in the EU according to my Maltese friend. But what would he know?

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                  Re: Axed Geoblocking

                  And I thought they spoke Maltese, the only Semitic official language in the EU according to my Maltese friend. But what would he know?

                  Both are official languages: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/language

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Axed Geoblocking

          Yep, the American content publishers will gladly lose 500 million people as potential customers,

          Of course they won't, they'll just raise their prices to cover the loss of income.

      2. Len

        Re: Axed Geoblocking

        "Also most UK providers already provide better roaming deals than the directive requires over a wider area than the EU, just by market forces (funny that)."

        Most UK providers have now implemented the EU rules and tried to sell it off as if they were being generous themselves.

        Can you, however, point me to one UK provider that charged ZERO roaming costs within the EU a year ago? It has never been in their interest as roaming charges are an "in-transparent market" and thus not subject to typical competitive market forces. That is why an authority had to step in, the market wasn't working in this particular case.

        1. streaky

          Re: Axed Geoblocking

          Most UK providers have now implemented the EU rules and tried to sell it off as if they were being generous themselves.

          Which is why they cover more than the EU. Sure.

          Can't speak for the rest of the EU on competition, we were doing fine until BT were allowed to purchase EE - there's plenty of networks to go around. Problem with most people's plans is they expect the network to subsidise their phones for zero upfront.

        2. Danny 14

          Re: Axed Geoblocking

          Zero roaming costs? That will be THREE then. I was using my three contract including data years ago. Came in handy in disneyland for the queue app. Used it on holiday as a mobile hotspot when driving too.

        3. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: Axed Geoblocking

          "Can you, however, point me to one UK provider that charged ZERO roaming costs within the EU a year ago?"

          Three. I don't think they actually quite covered the whole EU, but they did include a bunch of other countries including non-EU parts of Europe, the US and Australia, which is ultimately more useful for most consumers.

          That said, it probably reinforces your point about not being subject to normal market forces. Three have constantly been screwed over by Ofcom, with the explicitly stated goal of keeping them a small upstart rather than being able to compete with the others on equal terms. Which sounds like a terrible idea for a regulator to openly endorse, but given that it forced Three to compete by finding ways to actually be nice to their customers, maybe it wasn't actually as stupid as it sounds.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Axed Geoblocking

      In other news the "Evil" EU is having:

      * Better refuge / asylum controls, though the UK problems (when May was Home Secretary) are NON-EU people, purely under UK Control.

      You do know that the UK is one of the most welcoming EU countries for refugees, accepting 23% of those who apply? Germany does slightly better, at 24%, the others trail: Italy 21%, France 18%, the Netherlands at 6% and Sweden (who gets an enormous number of applicants) only 2%.

      * Lower, harmonised parcel & letter prices within EU

      Since when? We gets lots of very late letters from the UK because people wrongly think that a 1st class stamp will work for any EU country, and I know for a fact that France has "internal" and "Europe" (note, not "EU") prices.

      Also loads of other good stuff that UK has often tried to block.

      The reverse is also true, the UK has much better consumer protection laws than the EU standard, for example.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So that's why

    Rupert Murdoch wanted us out of the EU.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: So that's why

      So what content does Sky itself produce that's any good?

      I don't think they've got anything to fear.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: So that's why

        It's about about the sports for Sky.

        Lots of people are willing to pay quite large sums of money so they can watch the sports they like, and this would have allowed them to pay somebody else for it instead.

        I'll never understand it, but I'm glad they're having fun. And I wish they weren't forced to pay Murdoch for most of it.

        1. Andy 97

          Re: So that's why

          Sky won't be toot worried, they know most users consume their advert-ladened "premium" content off of their satellite service.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: So that's why

      Murdoch still has Sky branches in EU countries, like Italy and Germany.

  4. Mage Silver badge

    one common set of audiovisual rules across the EU

    Logical extension of Broadcast sans frontier directive, though the slow death of MW & LW means EU radio (esp due to DAB) is getting more ghettoised.

    I use multiple satellite receivers and the little "itrip" FM tx (CE marked) intended to connect MP3 / Phone to FM radio. The €4 ones run of 5V (PSU or USB) are fine. Then FM radio works anywhere in house.

    Much less choice at night MW on car radio than used to be, and BBC R4 LW seems erratic power, few radios even have LW.

    DAB radios are useless with often only 10 FM presets (not enough for local FM) and no AM.

    Without decent broadband, using streaming is impossible, not practical in car. Erratic compared to FM, DAB, Satellite and AM.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: one common set of audiovisual rules across the EU

      "BBC R4 LW seems erratic power, few radios even have LW."

      I think you can put that down to the shitty state of EMC enforcement where so much crap, including a lot of ISP-supplied broadband router/modems, etc, churn out noise in the whole lower frequency range (LW/MW/SW).

    2. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: one common set of audiovisual rules across the EU

      "... and BBC R4 LW seems erratic power ..."

      Oddly enough, en route from The Hague to the ferry terminal at Dunkerque or Calais I get excellent R4 LW reception on my car radio. Once I reach Dover LW reception is poor and I have to switch to R4 FM. (Another option would be to use Internet radio as many mobile phone contracts in NL now include large data bundles with roaming throughout the EU at no extra cost.)

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    I can foresee the providers (Sky,Canal+ etc) just pushing up their prices because they might lose a few multi-country customers.

    Can't see how this will hurt pirates since more will be able to get the content earlier.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: hurting pirates

      Some pirate simply because the can (or should I say, because they arrrrr!). This makes life fractionally easier for them.

      Many pirate because they are pissed off being unable to pay for what they want to view because of where they live. For them this is a breath of sanity and will see many change to being paying customers. Assuming the suppliers don't fuck up and expect you to install silverlight or some other shitty software to access stuff, of course...

      1. Fibbles

        Re: hurting pirates

        Some pirate simply because the can

        Many pirate because they are pissed off being unable to pay

        I think you've got your adjectives the wrong way around there. If we're being realistic, most pirate because they don't want to pay for something when they can easily get it for free. While there are definitely some that pirate because of geoblocking, delayed regional releases and DRM, who then go on to later buy the product; for most its just a convenient excuse to try to legitimise their actions. The numbers of seeds doesn't suddenly drop to zero once a TV show has been released in all regions. I suspect that for many pirates there'll always be "just one last hurdle" that needs to be overcome before they'll pay for content.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: hurting pirates

          I am not sure why you were downvoted, most people here are honest about wanting stuff for free.

          The whine of the middle aged freetard.

        2. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: hurting pirates

          "If we're being realistic, most pirate because they don't want to pay for something when they can easily get it for free."
          That's most likely horseshit if music piracy is anything to go by. People who aren't into music don't pirate; nor do they purchase. Most who pirate a lot also purchase a lot. Because they are into music.

          It also depends on how you define "piracy". The music industry defines me as a pirate because every CD and LP I own has been ripped and is played from a computer. The DVDs I purchase are also ripped and played from the same computer so I can avoid watching annoying PGCs. Then there are the DVDs that mysteriously won't play, but can be ripped...

          1. Fibbles

            Re: hurting pirates

            Most who pirate a lot also purchase a lot.

            If you say so. If they don't purchase what they pirate what difference does it make though?

            If you only pay for half of what you consume that isn't somehow magically made OK because you also happen to consume a lot.

            It also depends on how you define "piracy".

            "We're all format shifters. Honest, gov!"

            I highly doubt that. I can accept people are going to pirate even though they shouldn't. I just wish they'd stop inventing such bullshit excuses for doing so.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: hurting pirates

              @ Fibbles

              You are assuming we don't pay for what we pirate. As I pointed out in my post, we are by definition "pirates" when we format shift; therefore all that we paid for is "pirated".

              It is certainly true that I don't pay for all that I "pirate" but that's because ever so much that I download isn't worth paying for. Storing in my system even is a cost that's excessive, so it's deleted. Much of this material is not available to listen to any other reasonable way. (My tastes are somewhat eclectic). I discover, through "piracy" what's worth spending my hard-earned on. I'm not about to purchase something I've never heard before.

              FWIW there are ~2,500 titles in my collection almost all of them purchased. One of those titles, The Bach Collection consists of more than 120 CDs. Quite a few titles are duplicates: vinyl, CD, different covers... The people with the "bullshit excuses" are companies like Sony and their secret Rootkit that voided the warranty on my quite expensive CD player.

              FWIW the music industry pissed me off so much with their bullshit that I now only purchase mainstream music second-hand. I do buy new from musicians selling their own material; they're cheaper and I know where the money is going.

              BTW, it's considered quite bad form to invent quotes: "We're all format shifters. Honest, gov!" I never said that!

              1. Fibbles

                Re: hurting pirates

                As I pointed out in my post, we are by definition "pirates" when we format shift; therefore all that we paid for is "pirated".

                While I'll admit the courts have confused the issue by bringing format shifting under the umbrella term of 'piracy' I doubt it is the definition most people would use. Piracy for myself, and I imagine most other people would be described as "obtaining copyrighted material you don't have a license for".

                The idea that the masses of torrent sites exist mostly because of format shifters is ridiculous. As I said before, they exist because people want free shit.

                You are assuming we don't pay for what we pirate.

                It's a fairly valid assumption when you go on to say only a few lines later:

                It is certainly true that I don't pay for all that I "pirate" but that's because ever so much that I download isn't worth paying for.

                Another favourite shield excuse of the freetard. It completely ignores the fact that the value proposition of a movie, book, game, etc changes after the first use. Usually a film is worth less to the viewer on the second viewing because they already know what's going to happen. People are much less likely to pay for content they've already consumed, regardless of how much they enjoyed it the first time. That doesn't mean the first viewing shouldn't still be paid for.

                The people with the "bullshit excuses" are companies like Sony and their secret Rootkit that voided the warranty on my quite expensive CD player.

                That was over a decade ago. I remember at the time the bullshit excuse on this forum was along the lines of "if only they'd sell music without DRM, piracy would disappear". Publishers then went on to sell music without DRM. Lo and behold, piracy continued; almost as if the DRM argument was some sort of bullshit excuse to mask just wanting things for free.

                As I said before, there'll always be some sort of flimsy excuse for piracy. People understandably want to take shit for free but they also want to feel morally justified whilst doing it. It doesn't matter the mental gymnastics involved to get to that point. For most pirates there'll always be "one last hurdle" before they pay for their content.

                FWIW the music industry pissed me off so much with their bullshit that I now only purchase mainstream music second-hand. I do buy new from musicians selling their own material; they're cheaper and I know where the money is going.

                That's some serious hipster nonsense right there. You'll only buy artisanal music sold by the musician themselves? So any form of production network suddenly makes them not worthy of your cash? Where do you draw the line? Anything other than individually burned CD-Rs in hand-drawn sleeves is the evil work of Big Music?

                BTW, it's considered quite bad form to invent quotes

                "Hurr Durr, I'm gonna treat a random internet forum like debate club and point out what I think are fallacies mostly because I can't tell the difference between a sarcastic but accurate summation of my point and a strawman. For my next trick I'm gonna nitpick about your grammatical errors before finally transforming into Spectacularly Refined Gent. Good day to you Sir!"

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: hurting pirates

                  Fibbles, a freetard is "One who believes that downloadable text, images, music and other digital content should always be available free of charge, with wilful disregard of the resulting economic impact on the content creator or owner." Given that I have paid for all of the software in my possession (except for what was given to me legitimately) and own a music collection conservatively worth $AU25,000, you would appear to have a comprehension problem.

                  "That's some serious hipster nonsense right there. You'll only buy artisanal music sold by the musician themselves? So any form of production network suddenly makes them not worthy of your cash? Where do you draw the line? Anything other than individually burned CD-Rs in hand-drawn sleeves is the evil work of Big Music?"
                  On Sunday[*], I purchased three CDs from Dave Steel. This is one of them. Now there may be some virtue in spending £60.52 for Home is a Hard Thing to Find, it's likely worth it. After all, it was nominated for an Aria Award. But I don't have that kind of money and anyway Dave was happy to sell me a brand new copy for $AU20. If you decide to purchase Dave's CD, you will discover that it's most definitely not an "individually burned CD-R in hand-drawn sleeve". Nor were the two CDs by his wife Tiff Eckhardt that he also produced. They were pressed professionally here in Oz. In fact I can't think of any of the hundreds of CDs I've purchased direct that weren't.

                  Maybe musicians where you live can't afford it. Or maybe you are just talking through your arse.

                  [*] One of my neighbours has a large hand-built stone house and several times a year they invite selected musicians to come and play for their friends — Haywood Mountain Billy Goats, Eric Bogle, Richard Gilewitz... We all throw money into a pot and that all goes to the musicians. We've been doing this kind of things for years. It used to be at Pat Zuber's place (she used to be Chris Blackwell's PA), but sadly she moved to Queensland.

                  PS I note that the music industry is attempting to make the sale of second-hand CDs illegal.

                  PPS I can recall when the music industry deleted fully a third of their back catalogue in an attempt to boost sales of new stuff. It didn't work and they blamed piracy for the consequent fall in revenue.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hurting pirates

        Poor oppressed you, having to pay for somethIng.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hurting pirates

        Your putting too much sanity towards the content providers...

        They take down their own free content on Youtube due to "region restrictions/publishing rights". That's right, the free site for videos, cannot show their free videos, if because they decide it's better to not show them... go figure.

        So that free daily/weekly add/show snippet that gets a laugh, advertises their content, and draws people to their paid for services, is blocked in the UK, because it's a US show, made for the UK, and some other UK distributor bought rights (so they cannot even show the 5 min snippets anymore). Stranger is the US version IS up on youtube for all the world to see still. Oh, and the replacement uk service now gets uploads about once a month.

        I really think they only know how to shoot themselves in the foot.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the removal of geo-blocking will weaken the financial value of content"

    Bollocks.

    The removal of geo-blocking will allow people who want to follow something to subscribe to it (and pay their dues) whatever the origin country is.

    Are you trying to make me believe that you prefer the hassle of translating and localizing what people are ready to sign up for without ? Since when does that happen in a "capitalist" society ?

    The Internet is here, now. Stop trying to keep us in the last millennium with your profoundly stupid "zones" that only serve to force people to buy movies from their own zone or pirate their optical readers because you willingly delay publication following arbitrary rules that have no more meaning today.

    Who cares where a subscriber is as long as he is paying his subscription ?

    Once again, thank God for the EU. It has its faults, but they are regularly outweighed by consumer-protecting acts like this one.

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: "the removal of geo-blocking will weaken the financial value of content"

      "where a subscriber is as long as he is paying his subscription "

      Because a Romanian subscriber can't afford and won't pay nearly as much as a German or French one That is the whole fucking point of geoblocking.

      Prices in Romania are lower because a lower price gives providers most return there. A single EU price (which is not what this directive provides but what the dumb arse EU would like) means fewer Romanians will consume media and the ones that do will have to pay more. The providers make less money in Romania and have to hike prices elsewhere. Fewer people get to consume the available media and all those that do get to pay more for it - brilliant. "Thank god for the EU", you fucking moron.

      Of course in 20 years time when the whole EU is as poor as Romania (unless including the likes of Turkey and Ukraine makes it take longer) a single price will be fine. That is the EU technocrats wet dream, them controlling an enormous homogeneous mass of people dumb enough to think they need technocrats to tell them what is good for them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Geo-blocking =/= Geo-pricing?

        Is geo blocking the same as geo pricing? Does it take 6 months to figure out the exchange rate/demand/price?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "the removal of geo-blocking will weaken the financial value of content"

        Actually, I just did a quick check... Yeap, DVDs and Blurays in Romania cost about the same, if not more, than in UK. Netflix subscriptions are in the same price range.

        You were saying?

        1. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: "the removal of geo-blocking will weaken the financial value of content"

          "cost about the same"

          In which case geo-blocking would be pointless as would be preventing it.

          "You were saying?"

          I was saying fucking moron and still am.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "the removal of geo-blocking will weaken the financial value of content"

            Inmypjs, please put the mirror down and stop talking to yourself. Perhaps even go put some clothes on, maybe.

            1. inmypjs Silver badge

              Re: "the removal of geo-blocking will weaken the financial value of content"

              " please put the mirror down and stop talking to yourself. "

              Such cutting wit, such a clever put down, you have me sobbing into my keyboard.

              Still saying it you know.

    2. Oh Homer
      Headmaster

      Re: "the removal of geo-blocking will weaken the financial value of content"

      Actually this is true, but it's a very good thing, as it means consumers will no longer be getting ripped off.

      Most of what is now called "content" is already grossly overvalued. There are exceptions, but the billion-dollar content factories are mostly just mass producing garbage, which sells in high volume purely on the basis of hype. Part of that market manipulation is regional releases, which exploits the novelty effect - a known market phenomenon where anything new makes most of its lifetime sales shortly after release. By having multiple releases, the content factories can stretch out the novelty effect far longer, thus making more sales.

      On the other hand, the sort of people who buy things simply because they're new, with little regard to the actual merit of the thing they're paying for, are exactly what drives these content factories to continue mass producing garbage. So anything that discourages them can only be a good thing, as it will drive up the quality of content, producing something that might actually be worth paying for.

      As for Hollywood boycotting the EU ... something tells me they're not going to just walk away from billions of euros in sales. There were already titles that only got released (mostly on home video) in the US before this, and will continue to be for reasons that have nothing to do with EU regulations, but no business is going to make itself a martyr for some ideological cause, when its sole purpose is making money, even if it's less money than it might otherwise have made.

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    So will we be able to see the full BBC iplayer site through Europe now?

    See title... could be some interesting negotiations coming up regarding repeat fees and the like.

    I suspect that the net effect of this might be to decrease, rather than increase, the amount of material viewable across Europe.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: So will we be able to see the full BBC iplayer site through Europe now?

      Could be why they are changing things to tie your use of iPlayer to having a TV license.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So will we be able to see the full BBC iplayer site through Europe now?

        As it should have always been the case.

    2. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: So will we be able to see the full BBC iplayer site through Europe now?

      I've been using iPlayer around the globe for years.

      And Radio iPlayer on the mobile in the car too.

      Apart from when sport is mentioned and the annoying "Due to rights restrictions, this content is unavailable." loop audio starts up.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: So will we be able to see the full BBC iplayer site through Europe now?

      Not after 2019.

  8. graeme leggett

    single market benefit?

    What a time to taking back control.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just waiting for the relevant UK political representative to vote against this...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Just waiting for the relevant UK political representative to vote against this."

      Why? It's hardly going to affect us so why bother?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Depending on the type of vote it might delay this by a couple of years, which would please some people. Also the current Tory plan, AIUI, is to incorporate existing EU laws into the UK system in one mega-bill and then legislate to remove the bits they don't like - so they'd probably prefer to minimise the number of 'popular' bits they have to repeal.

  10. Guus Leeuw

    Optional news item in the Republic of Ireland

    Dear Sir,

    of course this is picked up as newsworthy in the Republic or Ireland: the only, say, Amazon Video stream that is somewhat available in the Republic is amazon.co.uk. Titles that I bought when I lived in the UK, say "Only Fools and Horses", are not available in the Republic. Even side-stepping .co.uk and going to .de doesn't help, as Amazon Prime doesn't recognize that I have titles that might be displayable through the German servers, since I'm in Ireland. Amazon's explanation is that royalties would have had to be paid in Ireland for me to allow me to see what I bought in the UK.

    Only resolution: Proxy

    Hopefully this legislation will make it better, not in the case of amazon.co.uk or UK-origin contents, but surely in other things.

    Unless Command in Chief May does a hard U-turn and a soft-bailout.

    Regards,

    Guus

    1. Shane McCarrick

      Re: Optional news item in the Republic of Ireland

      For Republic of Ireland folk- on holidays in Spain / Portugal- this will mean at long last they don't have to trek to Madrid/Barcelona/Lisbon- to see GAA matches- or have some poor befuddled Spanish teenager try to set up a Dublin proxy to persuade RTE to disgorge a feed over the internet.........

      Related- our Sky and Virgin feeds- are free for mobile devices here- so presumably- no need to bring physical boxes with us on holidays anymore (which is difficult anyway- since Astra turned off the southern beams- though it did spawn an interesting hobby in trying to find boxes with the most sensitive receivers, and/or LNBs that could magic a signal out of improbably small dishes...........)

      Heres hoping Ireland votes to implement this in full ASAP. Some sort of a freeview / saorview system over the internet would be great too (even for those of us in Ireland- I have a 360Mb fibre internet connection- but live in a valley and may as well be in a crater on the moon- can't get any terrestrial signals..........

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Optional news item in the Republic of Ireland

      Their should be an equalizing in the market... to copy the DRM online, everyone travelling will have their pockets emptied of DVDs and mp3s... oh and please step into the "memory removal" device so you can repurchase your fond memories in our own DRM entitled region!

  11. LDS Silver badge

    It's funny how globalization is OK when it enriches a relatively few people...

    ... but not when it's the consumer that sees the benefit.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Dazed and Confused

      Re: It's funny how globalization is OK when it enriches a relatively few people...

      > ... but not when it's the consumer^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hvoters that sees the benefit.

      And we thought we lived in a democracy

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's funny how globalization is OK when it enriches a relatively few people...

      If it didn't enrich the few they wouldn't bother doing it and the many (consumers) would derive no benefit.

      "The misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all."

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: It's funny how globalization is OK when it enriches a relatively few people...

        They would do it anyway, they would just make slightly less money.

      2. Oh Homer
        Trollface

        Re: "the misery of not being exploited at all"

        So the 1% are miserable and would be happier if the 99% relieved them of the burden of wealth?

        Excellent. We should begin immediately.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "the misery of not being exploited at all"

          @Oh Homer,

          Alas just because they are exploiting the 1% doesn't mean that a capitalist higher up the pecking order isn't exploiting them.

          Bear in mind that it's quite likely that everyone commenting in the Reg forums is in the top 1% globally.

          1. Oh Homer
            Headmaster

            Re: "everyone commenting in the Reg forums is in the top 1%"

            Unlikely. Anyone who actually has to work for a living is probably not part of the 1%, pretty much by definition, and somehow I can't picture the Kochs and Sauds of this world reading El Reg.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "everyone commenting in the Reg forums is in the top 1%"

              @Oh Homer

              Unlikely you say but sadly true.

              http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050615/are-you-top-one-percent-world.asp

              This article makes the case that if you earn $32,400 a year you are in the top 1% globally. Whilst you may not feel like you are part of the 1% someone living on $2 per day most certainly would.

              1. Oh Homer

                Re: "if you earn $32,400 a year you are in the top 1% globally"

                "According to the Global Rich List" ... which conveniently ignores total assets in favour of measuring only income, which is essentially meaningless.

                From that same article: "The threshold is significantly higher if you look at the top percentile by wealth instead of income. To reach that status, you’d have to possess $770,000 in net worth"

                Back on topic: People with no assets, earning 32k per annum in a First World country, tend not to have much if any disposable income, since it all goes on basic living expenses (primarily rent), and thus are not particularly well positioned to waste money on the stream of sewage emanating from Hollywood, unless they'd rather live in a cardboard box than pay their landlord.

  12. Frumious Bandersnatch

    doesn't go far enough

    I set up ipv6 recently, over a Hurricane Electric tunnel. I'm in Ireland and I picked a tunnel endpoint in England. I could have picked Ireland or Holland or anywhere, really. However, whichever one I picked, it would have fucked up a perfectly valid and legal Netflix subscription because they consider me as being someone who's using a proxy to defeat their region locks. Bit of a sledgehammer approach.

    I can understand the old processes involved in setting up contracts for regional distribution of films and such, but seriously, in this day and age with so much old content and internet-based delivery, why should we still have geoblocking on so much stuff? The argument about promotion and localisation in each region is bogus so long as the channel provider is still counting eyeballs and paying up as they should. I don't need to see promo material for shit that I watch. I just want to be able to watch shit and have the channel make sure that the content creators get paid. Sort of like a FRAND for consumable digital content. Is that so hard?

  13. DerekCurrie
    Thumb Up

    About Time! Corporatocracy be damned.

    Media corporations are no doubt throwing conniptions over this ruling and I say GREAT! These corporatocratic scumbags have been attempting to wreck the world's democracies for the sake of their lunatic attitudes toward their copyrighted media. If you read the various treaties they've attempted to perpetrate, including TTIP and TTP, you'll find that they've attempted to set up corporate lawyer run courts to settle legal disputes regarding trade and media fair use rights, bypassing all citizen run governments. Think of 'The Company' in the Alien film series and you'll comprehend exactly what they want.

    We humans now live in our 'New World Order' where we must have access to all media from everywhere on the planet for the sake of the world's right to Free Speech. Breaking the world up into 'Marketing Zones' is insanity only a marketing moron could conceive. Stopping the rest of the world from experiencing media outside of its country of origin is equally lunatic. It's a one world of human creativity and sharing of the products of that creativity. Let the decrepit corporatocrats stuck in the 20th century suffer aneurisms over our new world of sharing in the 21st century.

    But keep in mind that artists deserve and require compensation for their work! It's called INCENTIVE and without it nothing is created. Ripoff media and you rip away the future of creativity. Respect the art and artist. :-D

  14. peterm3

    "The Commission will go as far as reducing VAT problems when selling across borders – right now you have a clumsy process of reverse charging, where the seller takes a copy of the transaction and the authorities then collect the VAT from the buyer directly, rather than in the price of the goods."

    The VAT system in Europe is quite simple and well organised IMHO - when I order from Amazon UK to an address in Germany, I'm charge 19% VAT (Geramny rate) rather than 20% in the UK. So what exactly is changing? I have never had a VAT bill come later from "the authorities".

    1. graeme leggett

      It's between VAT registered businesses rather than consumer and businesses.

      this might help explain. http://www.vatlive.com/eu-vat-rules/eu-vat-returns/reverse-charge-on-eu-vat/

  15. Upstream

    The silence

    Why are the BBC not reporting this?

    A google search for geoblocking on their site reveals nothing for this year.

    Is there an official line for them to not mention anything positive about the EU now, in case people change their minds about leaving?

  16. JaitcH
    Happy

    Geo-Blocking? What's that?

    QUOTE: "To combat piracy ... permanently moved abroad or are sharing log in details by verifying methods of identification including payment details, ID cards, tax information, and IP address checks."

    The BBC has, over time, beefed up it's iPlayer controls. They are still ineffective.

    To those with UK familial connections, meeting the aforementioned checks is a whiz. I have my brothers TV licence number and address, I have my National Insurance Card, UK drivers licence, etc. I renew my passport using my brother's home address - so it appears I am still in the UK. My name is even on the electoral roll. And, thanks to my brother, I can use his company VPN.

    But the restrictions look good on paper.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...the removal of geo-blocking will weaken the financial value of content...

    Err no.

    The customer defines value. No one else.

  18. captain veg Silver badge

    swadding Belgium

    > they can always ensure exclusive rights in a particular language which solves the problem for Europe

    The game's up for Belgium, then. And Switzerland. No independence for you, Scotland, but welcome to the new Catalan state.

    -A.

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