Geoblocking Regulation: No Benefit to EU Gamers
On 27 October, EU Member State representatives will, at a COREPER meeting, try to come to an agreement on the controversial Geoblocking Regulation, which has been presented as a cornerstone of the Digital Single Market Strategy. Vital changes must be made to the Regulation or serious harm will come to Europe’s video games industry and European gamers.
The proposed regulation purports to give customers better access to goods and services in the Single Market, but will actually reduce cross-border trade, cause legal and technical problems for companies providing online services and harm investment in lower income areas of Europe.
In the latest draft as proposed by the Estonian Presidency, video games are, unfairly, the only large creative content sector included in the Regulation, while e-books, music and audiovisual works are excluded. This is despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of consumer complaints concerning geoblocking do not concern video games.
Philip Earl, Chairman of the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, said “The inclusion of video games in the Regulation is unjust and illogical. This goes against the principles of better regulation, as our industry has not been publically consulted prior to the proposal, and only extremely limited research into our sector has been carried out. The Regulation - if adopted according to the latest draft – will simply not bring benefits to the gamers in Europe, but rather reduce the current commercial flexibility to make regional offers. Lawmakers are sacrificing progress for political expediency”.
More details about the position of ISFE can be found in the attached news release.