Film & TV Firms To Breathe Easier: European Parliament Votes Against ‘Country Of Origin’ Proposals


European film and TV producers and distributors along with the major Hollywood studios will be breathing a sigh of relief after it emerged that the European Parliament voted to reject plans that would have likely abolished territory-by-territory sales of TV series and movies.

Politicians in Strasbourg voted 344 to 265 against the European Commission’s ‘Country of Origin’ proposals, a key plank of the EC’s plans to introduce a Digital Single Market. The move would have allowed European broadcasters to buy the rights to TV series and movies across the continent to broadcast online. This would have had a major impact on the financing of projects as well as distribution.

This follows a decision by European Parliament’s Juri Committee for Legal Affairs, which voted to throw out the ‘Country of Origin’ proposal last month. However, it’s not clear whether this is the final decision.

In November 2014, the European Commission announced plans to introduce a Digital Single Market for the continent which would encourage trade between member states; remove barriers; and encourage free movement of goods, services and people. EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said it was time to remove digital barriers, reform copyright and prevent “unjustified” geo-blocking. Juncker, who has made DSM one of his main objectives for Europe’s 2020 Strategy, said last year: “I want to see pan-continental telecoms networks, digital services that cross borders and a wave of innovative European start-ups. I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market – wherever they are in Europe.”

The vote was first reported by Deadline sister publication Variety.

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