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Brits will be prevented from taking Netflix abroad

Politico, Mar 28

As from the Brexit withdrawal date, those in the UK will no longer benefit from their digital content subscriptions when traveling to the EU.
UK citizens won’t be able to take their digital subscriptions, such as BBC iPlayer or Netflix, with them on holiday in the EU after Brexit, nor benefit from other EU rules on copyright, the European Commission said today in a notice to stakeholders.

“As of the withdrawal date [March 29, 2019], persons residing in the United Kingdom will no longer benefit from their digital content subscriptions when travelling to the EU,” the document says.

The portability rules, which apply as of Sunday, are designed to let travellers in the EU access their online content when they’re away from home. It is not yet clear when the rules will continue to apply to the UK during a transition period.

While UK consumers are not able to access BBC iPlayer at all currently when in the EU27, Netflix subscribers can access the service but they only have local content available — not the same range of shows and films they would at home.

When it comes to other rules, the EU and UK would remain bound by a number of international copyright agreements, such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the Commission said.

“It should be noted that the multilateral international agreements mentioned above do not provide for the same type or level of protection … as that set out today in the EU copyright acquis,” the document says.

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