As expected, the European Commission has nixed plans to impose blanket rules on Web-based platforms as part of its Digital Single Market plans—but Netflix, Amazon, and other on-demand video providers will face movie and TV quotas and a tax to help fund EU productions.
Vice president Andrus Ansip said that rather than onerous regulation, problems will be addressed “individually as they arise by sector.”
Although the commission wants to totally eliminate geoblocking for the purchase of online goods and services, for the time being, copyrighted audiovisual content will be exempt from the rules.
A raft of other measures aimed at creating a level playing field for online shoppers across the European Union have been rolled out, however. Brussels’ digital economy commissioner, Gunther Oettinger, focussed on changes to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD)—essentially bringing it up to date for the modern world. And it’s bad news for Netflix and Amazon.
“Up to now the directive has applied only to broadcasting TV services, but online streaming services, and video-sharing platforms (such as YouTube and Dailymotion) have been exempt,” he said. Not any more.
European TV broadcasters currently invest around 20 percent of their revenues in original content, but on-demand providers pump…