EU announces plans to banish geo-blocking, modernise copyright law.

Letting EU citizens watch movies online anywhere, is key to the European Commission’s efforts to unify the continent’s digital market to enhance economic growth. In March the Commission agreed how to proceed with its European Digital Single Market plan and identified priorities to be detailed this May to expand the knowledge economy.

Digital Single Market

Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, said during the news conference that limiting access to content to people in a particular country or region is a bad strategy.

The Commission wants to tear down geo-blocking barriers, he said. However, there could be exceptions, particularly when geo-blocking is necessary to respect national laws, such as those that forbid online gambling in certain countries for example.

“But deep in my heart, I would like to say, I hate geo-blocking. I think this is old fashioned,” he added.

The European Commission, who represents the shared policy interests of 28 countries, says the removal of geo-blocking will offer better services and new jobs. The goal is to create a market that allows new business models to flourish, start-ups to grow and the industry to take advantage of the Internet of things.

Digital technology is part of everyday life. From studying to watching films, buying or selling online to connecting with friends or your doctor – the Internet is a goldmine of digital opportunities.

Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services by tackling geo-blocking will enable a digital environment in which local services can flourish, “Such discrimination cannot exist in a Single Market” – says Andrus Ansip.

The modernisation of copyright law will ensure the right balance between the interests of creators and those of users or consumers. Simplifying tax arrangements is important to boost the cross-border activities of businesses, especially for SMEs. The cost and complexity of having to deal with foreign tax rules are a major problem for SMEs.

The Commission is also proposing to review the current telecom and media rules to make them fit for new challenges relating to consumer uses and for new players in the field.

Digital services, web applications and content depend on high-speed open access internet and secure networks. Nationwide Ultra Fast Broadband is the key for countries like New Zealand to develop new, innovative digital services which spur international economic growth.

As the first network wide solution in the world for Internet Providers Bypass Network Services is well positioned to accelerate the removal of geo-unblocking service with ISPs in the Europe. By integrating Bypass’s Global Mode PaaS offering ISPs will allow their end users to access a world of content in Europe and beyond far sooner than the global market can react.

Why we need a Digital Single Market  – You can read the European Commission fact sheet for economic growth here.

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