ISFE Welcomes Agreement on Geoblocking Proposal Agreement
ISFE welcomes the agreement reached by the European Parliament on the 20th of November to support the mandate given by the Member States to the Estonian Presidency at its COREPER meeting on 16 November, to exclude non-audiovisual copyright protected content in the review clause of the Regulation.
Despite important political pressure to include the video games sector in particular, a blocking minority of Member States has all along supported the exclusion of video games, as it would have been unjust and unfair to single out video games and include this sector in the Regulation, especially as the industry was not consulted, nor subject to an impact assessment justifying an inclusion. Research shows weak demand for cross border shopping for video-games. The 2015 Eurobarometer study prepared for the Commission concluded that video games are the content that is least searched for in cross border access requests so demonstrating the wide availability of games in the EU.*
Philip Earl, Chairman of the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, said: “ISFE welcomes the agreement to exclude copyright protected content, such as video games, from the scope of the proposed Regulation. We are pleased to hear that the European Parliament has agreed to support the Council approach, which will respect the principles of better regulation. The video games sector, which contributes 18€billion to the European economy annually, will be able to maintain flexibility in adapting commercial offers locally to bring benefit to the gamers in Europe”.
*Flash Eurobarometer 411, “Cross-border access to online content”