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Deadline for compliance with EU rules on online portability of content pushed back

The date on which new EU rules regarding the portability of online content will come into effect has been revised.04 Aug 2017

The EU regulation on cross-border portability of online content services came into force on 4 July and was originally due to take effect on 20 March 2018. However, that date has now been revised to 1 April 2018 after a corrigendum to the regulation was published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU).

Further adjustments to dates listed in the regulation, including the date for review of the regulation, have also been made. The Commission will now have to conduct a review of the application of the regulation and submit its report by 2 April 2021.

Under the new rules, online content service providers will need to ensure that they make their service available to paid subscribers "in the same manner as in the member state of residence" when those subscribers are "present in a member state other than the member state of residence for a limited period of time".

The regulation specifically provides that the obligation includes "providing access to the same content, on the same range and number of devices, for the same number of users and with the same range of functionalities". Online content service providers are prohibited from charging subscribers extra to facilitate their new access rights.

For the purposes of the regulation, the provision of online content, as well as the accessing and use of that content, will be deemed to have occurred in the EU country where subscribers are resident rather than in the country where they are temporarily present.