Lawmakers in the EU, along with a number of member states, have announced they have made a preliminary deal which would change the way online streaming services fund online content. The new rules would mean that countries in the union would be able to force services to fund European films and TV shows under a new quota system. The quota would be 30%, which would have to fund content that has been made in Europe.
The new rules would apply to all online streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon, Google, YouTube and Facebook. As well as on demand services, it would also apply to live streaming services like Facebook Live. This is being introduced as an extension to the current EU broadcasting legislation which is in place across the bloc.
In addition to this, both on demand and live streaming services would have to take new measures to combat content which is “inciting violence, hatred and terrorism.” Going forward, online platforms will need to put in place a “transparent, easy-to-use and effective mechanism to allow users to report or flag content.” This is in line with the increased focus the EU is putting on combating online hate speech.
The new legislation is still awaiting approval from the EU member states and the European Parliament. EU lawmaker Sabine Verheyen, who has been pushing for the new legislation, said: We have been successful in negotiating that a similar level of protection now also applies to internet media services, as it does to the classical broadcast media services.”
The EU has also noted that member states would have the option to require services that are not based in that country, but target their audience, to make a financial contribution to the production of European TV shows or films. This would be by either direct investment, or by contributing to national funding schemes. The amount they would be required to contribute would vary based on the revenues from each country.
“The EU’s regulation of video sharing platforms is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done to examine online liability and protect EU citizens by bringing online platforms up to the same regulatory standard as TV,” said David Wheeldon, Group Director of Policy and Public Affairs, at broadcaster Sky.
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