EU laws about regional content generation for the borderless digital media giants are likely to be introduced at the end of the year, with the current plan being to force the US-based streaming giants of the world to ensure that at least 30 per cent of their content could conceivably be described as being "local" to the audience. This is presumably amazing news for the holders of the BBC archive, which could flog off thousands of hours of crappy sitcoms to help Netflix and Amazon meet their quotas.
The laws also require a level of "visibility and prominence" for local content too, though, so actually, buying 10,000 hours of Dad's Army and bunging it right down the bottom to hit a target won't do the job.
Roberto Viola of the EC's communications networks, content and technology department says a vote on passing the law is a "formality" at this stage, and if introduced as expected in December the streamers would then have 20 months to hit the 30 per cent local target. To make things harder and more local than a Welsh pub when the rugby's on, EU member countries may choose to take this quota up to 40 per cent if they wish, perhaps also taking up the option of introducing a surcharge on streaming fees to be put back into national production. [Variety via Engadget]