Updated Rules for Audiovisual Media

Do you remember those dark ages when we could only watch movies and videos on TV? In the last ten years a lot has changed thanks to the Internet, but the rules regulating how we access content in Europe are stuck in a pre-YouTube era. Not for long...

How did we get here?

The European Commission is updating the rules that govern audiovisual media at EU level. The current Audiovisual Media Services Directive was published in 2010. However, with the sharp increase in use of new sharing platforms like YouTube and on-demand services, the Commission is creating a set of common rules that should apply to traditional broadcasters and new providers. This is also part of the Commission’s new strategy on the Digital Single Market.


Why is this important for me?

The way it is drafted now, the Directive will mostly affect you when it comes to advertising and availability of European content:

If you want more details, have a look at the Commission's Q&A.


What's the content?

In addition to advertising and promotion of European content, the proposal is regulating different issues. Some already consider it a success if the Directive manages to ensure legal clarity in this new era for all players, who could be your traditional national broadcaster, or the newest video sharing platform. A few key topics:


What's happening with this legislation in the future?

In the European Parliament, the two leading co-rapporteurs are Germans (Petra Kammerevert (S&D) and Sabine Verheyen (EPP)). These two ladies also sit on the board of German public broadcaster WDR, which has raised some concerns among lobbyists on the issue of potential overrepresentation of the German public broadcaster’s position. The Culture Committee (CULT) adopted its position in April 2017, Parliament as a whole decided in May 2017 to open inter-institutional talks. A little later the Council adopted its negotiating position and trilogues are under way.


Related Bills:

Cross-border portability: Access to streaming services from abroad

Consumer rights for downloads and streaming services

New consumer rules for online shopping

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