Amazon Prime Video Blocked Abroad

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In a few days the Portability Ordinance for paid streaming services will come into force. This does not change the copyright, but in the case of temporary stays in another EU country, data transmission is considered use in the country of residence.

From 1 April, the country blocks will be lifted for paid streaming services if the user temporarily resides in another EU country. This was announced by Verbraucherzentrale Nordrhein-Westfalen on March 19, 2018. “We know an example in which the German Amazon Prime video offer could not be called up by a German consumer in the Netherlands”, said Julian Graf, lawyer of the consumer center on request.

Netflix, on the other hand, allows its subscribers to access the film catalogue when travelling to other countries, which is an advantage if the film catalogue is larger – as in the USA. “The Portability Ordinance is intended to provide access to content from the home country in other EU countries, and not only to local content of the EU country in which the person is temporarily resident. The user should be able to take his home country offer with him to other EU countries”, explained Graf.

Streaming: What Is A “Temporary Stay”?


However, the use of services already paid for is limited to a temporary stay. What is considered a temporary stay is not precisely defined in the Regulation. Streaming providers must also first check the user’s country of residence if the national border is to be abolished.

“This content is not available in your country”, this notice has often had to be accepted by online customers when they wanted to watch series, films or football broadcasts that they regularly pay for from streaming providers such as Netflix, Sky Go, Amazon Prime or Maxdome TV while travelling. According to copyright law, films were previously only allowed to be shown in the country for which the providers had obtained permission from the rights holders.

The Portability Regulation adopted by the European Parliament last May now allows streaming of content within the EU: although this does not change copyright law, it now applies to paid subscriptions to streaming services that data transmission is considered use in the country of residence for temporary stays in other EU countries.

Streaming providers are also not allowed to charge additional fees for the use of services in other EU countries.

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