The European Commission has unveiled a new agreement that will allow people from one European Union member country to access their digital media while traveling to other EU countries.
In other words, if you pay for streaming music or movie services in Germany, you’ll be able to watch or listen in France. The deal applies to subscription services covering eBooks, sports, and video games (through services such as Steam) as well.
The new rules are expected to take effect starting in 2018.
Currently the practice of geo-blocking can keep travelers from accessing media they’ve already paid for when traveling abroad. The new rules mean that you won’t run into those kinds of restrictions within the EU’s 28 member nations… but travelers from the US or other regions (soon to include the UK) don’t get those benefits.
As Variety notes, the move has faced opposition from the Motion Picture Association of America and other media producers who are concerned that the new “portability” rule eats into their ability to license content on a region-by-region basis.