IEFBE 2132

EP opinion on the proposal on geo-blocking

European Parliament, Opinion on adressing geo-blocking and other forms 4 april 2017, 2016/00152 (COD) Your rapporteur welcomes the Commission's proposal but believes that it does not go far enough in abolishing geo-blocking. The electronic provision of non-audiovisual copyright protected works or services, including e-books, software, computer games and music should be included in the scope of the Regulation from the entry into force, and at the first review after two years of application it should be evaluated whether audiovisual works should also be included in its scope. A precondition for such inclusion would however be that the trader holds a copyright licence for such works or is otherwise a rightsholder in all relevant territories.


It is furthermore necessary to ensure legal clarity regarding the meaning of "directing an activity", particularly in those cases where a trader is targeting a specific Member State and the applicable choice of law rules leads to the application of the law of the Member State of the consumer. There should be no doubt about which rules apply in such situations. However, it is also essential to prevent traders from discriminating in other cases and to oblige them to sell to consumers and other traders regardless of the country of origin or residence of the consumer. The applicable law on such non-directed transactions should therefore be that of the Member State of the seller, not least in order to make life easier for small and medium-sized enterprises, for which the burden to ensure resources to effectively trade with consumers from several different legal system would be disproportionate. It is finally essential that the Regulation will start to apply as soon as possible.