A Spotify user listening to Swedish band Kent. Photo: Susanne Walström/Image Bank Sweden
Swedish music streaming giant Spotify and a host of other tech firms could be affected by fresh copyright legislation being proposed by the European Commission.
European holidaymakers and business travellers will be able to listen to their Spotify accounts as well as stream films and TV shows from video sites including Netflix, Amazon Prime and iTunes from wherever they travel to in Europe if the new plans come into action.
At the moment, many services are blocked or restricted to a set time frame, or customers are diverted to content only available in the country that they are visiting, rather than where their account is registered.
The proposals were put forward by the executive arm of the European Union, the European Commission on Wednesday, which said that they would be fleshed out further in 2016.
In theory the plans are designed to be specifically targeted at people travelling for work or short holidays and will not give customers the chance to shop around for subscription deals in other member states. It was not immediately clear how the proposals might also affect expats moving abroad and wishing to access content from their home countries, for example Britons with existing BBC iPlayer accounts.
The commission’s plans are part of a wider push for a so-called Digital Single Market within the 28-member bloc.
“People who legally buy content – films, books, football matches, TV series – must be able to carry it with them anywhere they go in Europe,” Andrus Ansip, vice president for the Digital Single Market, said in a statement.
In October, the European Parliament finally gave the green light to a total ban on roaming charges set to come into full force in June 2017.
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