As a part of its ongoing efforts to create a single European market for intellectual property rights, the European Commission announced on December 18, 2012 that it will begin examining legislative reforms to improve cross-border online access to copyrighted content within the European Union (EU). The Commission justified this review in order to combat unequal access to protected online content, where service providers license their content to be available online in some EU member states, while restricting it in others by means of geo-blocking. Finding solutions to this problem is considered necessary in order for the EU to accommodate growth for emerging technologies such as cloud computing.
The Commission’s review will include consultations with rights holders, licensing bodies, and content users concerning initiatives to promote cross-border online content access. It is scheduled to begin early next year and to last throughout 2013. A copy of the European Commission’s announcement is available here.