Netflix Geo-Blocking Here to Stay, Says Leaked EU Paper

By Gary Cutlack on at

The EU's long awaited look at/crack down upon the practise of geo-blocking looks like it's about to come to a head, with a leaked version of a draft recommendation suggesting it'll be business as usual for the streaming giants. All thanks to a quite pathetic opt-out clause for providers of audio and visual content.

According to the document seen by Politico, the EU has completely collapsed in the face of opposition from the tech and media giants, with the paper saying that: "...non-economic services of general interest, transport services, audio-visual services, gambling activities, healthcare services and certain social services are excluded from the scope of this Regulation."

Which mostly makes sense, as aligning healthcare and transport internationally seems rather difficult -- you can't make a bus drive to Spain -- but why the exemption for digitally distributed audio-visual stuff?

The draft doc explicitly spells out exactly what purpose this serves later on, adding: "...access to broadcasts of sports events and which are provided on the basis of exclusive territorial licenses, are therefore excluded" -- so the EU has abandoned its borderless principles in order to keep the sports broadcasters happy. Fortunately for Netflix, Amazon and the other geo-curators of content, it means they can carry on geo-blocking out all the sexy French arthouse films, too. [TorrentFreak]

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