EU votes to control video-sharing services

Some of the Members of the European Parliament are pictured, in the auditorium. Several have raised a hand.

writer icon Vera P. Jensen     EU-EP/Dominique Hommel   |   Tech     🕐 03. Oct. 2018

On October 2nd, the European Union voted in favour of the controversial proposal to force streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime to have at least 30% European-produced content.

The proposal comes as an update to the already existing directives governing audiovisual media services. The new rules will also apply to video-sharing services. Traditional broadcasters are also affected.

Approved by a landslide
The voting was almost unanimous in support, with 452 votes in favour, and 132 votes against. 

The proposal still needs to be approved by the Council of EU members before it is official. Once it is official, the law can be enforced. Following enforcement, Member States of the EU have 21 months to take on the rules within their own national laws.

Against the proposal
Swedish MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt voted against the proposal. “That at least 30% of content in streaming services such as HBO and Netflix shall be produced within the [European] Union is protectionist and non-innovative” she wrote on Twitter. “Quantity does not mean quality or growth” she concluded. 

Combat harmful content
The updated rules are not only relating to the amount of European-produced video content. Video service providers will be expected to have appropriate measures in place to combat content that incites hatred, violence and terrorism,

There will also be pressure on the platforms as they will now be responsible for reacting quickly to reports of harmful content.

Rules on advertising
Stricter rules will be placed on advertising, as well as product placement in children’s TV programmes. Additionally, the video service providers are no longer permitted to process data collected from children for commercial use. This means that children should not be profiled or subject to targeted advertising.

Regarding advertising, the rules also state that adverts are not permitted to exceed 20% of the daily broadcasting period between 06.00 and 18.00.

DIGITALEUROPE hopes that the implementation of the new directive will be “moderate and future-proof”.

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, the Director-General, said that “a moderate approach, where Member States avoid overly prescriptive provisions and leave room for innovation, would make it easier for service providers and consumers to adapt to an increasingly diverse, dynamic and vibrant European market.”

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