Europe Offers Details On Regulatory Plans For Online Services, Digital Single Market

BY Heather Greenfield
May 25, 2016

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission has announced a slew of regulatory plans aimed at the digital economy and tech economies Wednesday. The new rules could impact everything from online platforms to online video and music to privacy. For companies it could mean more liability risk for what Internet services’ customers do online and extra costs for doing business in Europe.

Ahead of the announcement, northern European countries, consumers and the tech industry cautioned officials against a measure that would impact the whole variety of online services as well as less obvious platforms such as newspapers and cars. For consumers these regulations will impact access to online video, whether phone and other communications can have unbreakable encryption and rules when buying online products across outside their home country.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association applauds the EC for listening to concerns about a blanket rule covering platforms and cautions against short-sighted telecommunications, audio-visual, copyright and privacy policies that would ultimately harm both consumers and the digital economy. The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe Vice President James Waterworth:

“The Commission rightly understood that online platforms differ greatly. Regulation covering all companies in one of the most innovative and dynamic sectors would have been unnecessary and futile. We support an evidence-based and targeted approach. That should not lead to legislative changes which would directly or indirectly undermine the liability protections of the E-commerce Directive — the bedrock of the digital industry.”

The following on the EU audiovisual reform can be attributed to Waterworth:

“The EU online video market, while flourishing, is not yet mature and the Commission should be careful not to hinder its growth. Rules requiring video-on-demand providers to contribute to national funds in potentially 28 Member States are undermining the Digital Single Market. Cultural quotas are outdated and unnecessary — video-on-demand providers are already investing heavily into European local content.”

For additional background information, please see Waterworth’s DisCo Blog post on platforms here or CCIA Europe Public Policy Manager Maud Sacquet’s DisCo Blog post on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive here.


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