This week heralded further progress for the European Digital Single Market strategy, with the online content portability regulation mentioned previously on this blog coming into force on 20 July 2017, following publication of this regulation in the EU Official Journal on 30 June 2017. The regulation itself sets out a number of key dates during next year and onwards for content providers and consumers alike to watch for.

Applicability of the regulation

The regulation specifies that it is to apply from 20 March 2018. This means that from this date onwards, audiovisual media services and other linear and on-demand content services which charge for subscription (‘paid content providers’) must enable access and use for their subscribers, who are temporarily present in a Member State, in the same manner as in their Member State of residence. Those services which do not charge for subscription (‘free content providers’) may also opt-in to the regulation as mentioned previously on this blog, provided they first inform their subscribers and rights holders in the content subject to the regulation.

Deadline for residence verification

The regulation also specifies that by 21 May 2018, paid content providers must verify the Member State of residence for each individual subscribing before that date. Individuals subscribing to free content providers before that date, and who are provided content in a Member State other than their residence, must be verified within two months of the date of being provided content in this way. All content providers are to perform verification checks using up to two verification methods in particular combinations (for example, identity card together with IP check) listed in the regulation. As mentioned previously on this blog, these verification checks must be measured against a standard of reasonableness and proportionality.

Deadline for further review

With a particular focus on the continued effectiveness of this standard for verification checks in light of relevant technological and industry trends, the regulation requires the European Commission to produce and submit a report and legislative proposal (if appropriate in addition) by 21 March 2021 on the application of the regulation in light of broader legal, technological and economic developments.