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[ARS]EU announces plans to banish geo-blocking, modernize copyright law

post #1 of 26
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At the heart of the European Union lies the Single Market—the possibility for people to buy and sell goods and services anywhere in the EU. So it is ironic that the European sector least constrained by geography—the digital market—is also the least unified. To remedy that situation, the European Commission has announced its Digital Single Market Strategy, which addresses three main areas.

The first is "Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services" and includes two of the thorniest issues: geo-blocking and copyright. As the EU's strategy notes, "too many Europeans cannot use online services that are available in other EU countries, often without any justification; or they are re-routed to a local store with different prices. Such discrimination cannot exist in a Single Market."

There is strong resistance to removing geo-blocking, particularly from copyright companies that have traditionally sold rights on a national basis and which therefore want geo-blocking to enforce that fragmentation. The Pirate Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Julia Reda, quoted a fellow MEP justifying geo-blocking as follows: "I can’t buy Finnish bread in any German supermarket or bakery. Far too few people here would buy it, so the market doesn't offer it to me. And you don’t see me demanding that the European Commission bloody-well make that product available to me."

Spurred on by that analogy, Reda decided to explore whether Finnish bread was indeed available outside Finland. "One tweet and a few hours later I was the fortunate owner of an artisanal loaf of bread from Finland," she said. Unlike artistic works under copyright, there is no restrictive territorial bread licensing system to stop people abroad from buying products of Finnish bakers.

Reda is the author of a recent report for the European Parliament evaluating the current EU Copyright Directive, which governs copyright law in Europe. In it, she offers many concrete suggestions for updating the overall framework. That will feed in to the other main element of the Digital Single Market Strategy's first area: "Modernising copyright law to ensure the right balance between the interests of creators and those of users or consumers"—a topic even more contentious than abolishing geo-blocking.

The second broad area of the EU Digital Strategy is "shaping the environment for digital networks and services to flourish." This includes things like investing in communications infrastructure, managing wireless spectrum, and reviewing current telecoms and media rules. An important part of the digital environment will be another new directive, this time for data protection. Like copyright, this too is an area where many companies are fighting hard for European regulations that favor their interests and business models, usually at the expense of the public.

The final set of EU initiatives is grouped under the heading "Creating a European Digital Economy and Society with long-term growth potential." It consists mostly of the usual buzzwords: cloud computing, big data, interoperability—and one novelty: a transition to a "smart industrial system," or "Industry 4.0" as it is called here.

Source

EU on top smile.gif
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post #2 of 26
That makes sense.

In theory everything is sweet.

Will see how the implementation will turn out after all the lobby groups have done what they can.
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post #3 of 26
I hope this will solve the bullcrap I had to go through to buy an ereader.

Couldn't buy a kindle from amazon.de, neither from amazon.fr. Had to buy from amazon.com but that was with +20$ for the international version +40$ for shipping (while amazon.de ships for free) + taxes + conversion from $ to € which ended up being total 195€ vs 100€ on amazon.de.

I didn't want to pay double just because amazon are douches so i bought a different ereader from a different online seller.
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post #4 of 26
I'd be more afraid of what lobbyists slip into that modified law under the disguise of dealing with region locks.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelius View Post

I'd be more afraid of what lobbyists slip into that modified law under the disguise of dealing with region locks.

Lobbying is illegal in the EU, and severely punished ... not saying that it doesn't happen, just stating that the politician accepting any kind of bribes from a lobbyists in the EU better make sure not to get caught, or he'll be eating apples at the local prison for the next 15 years
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post #6 of 26
This is bad for everybody.

Geo-locking is needed for businesses to make a profit. If businesses stop making profits they are just going to charge the consumers more money.

So geo-locking is essential if you don't want to pay more than you have to.
 
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post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLAWNOOB View Post

This is bad for everybody.

Geo-locking is needed for businesses to make a profit. If businesses stop making profits they are just going to charge the consumers more money.

So geo-locking is essential if you don't want to pay more than you have to.

explain how geo locking makes businesses a profit.
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post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLAWNOOB View Post

This is bad for everybody.

Geo-locking is needed for businesses to make a profit. If businesses stop making profits they are just going to charge the consumers more money.

So geo-locking is essential if you don't want to pay more than you have to.

I don't think I'll ever willingly give money to a company that's convinced it has to geo block for bottom line reasons. If that's bad for business, so be it, better than no business at all.

If you want to offer a premium product for premium regions like the so called first world, it's ok to put a premium price on that. But it's highly questionable to sell the same product at different price points, based on customer spending power. It's what a monopoly does.

Now having some sort of monopoly for a year or 5 on your IP, and a permanent dividend for being a (potential) producer of such, I can see a logic in this, but I think we've overstepped our boundaries as society, against individuals, in attributing ownership to thought with recent iterations of copyright.
Edited by Tivan - 3/29/15 at 9:36am
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post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisaroth View Post

I hope this will solve the bullcrap I had to go through to buy an ereader.

Couldn't buy a kindle from amazon.de, neither from amazon.fr. Had to buy from amazon.com but that was with +20$ for the international version +40$ for shipping (while amazon.de ships for free) + taxes + conversion from $ to € which ended up being total 195€ vs 100€ on amazon.de.

I didn't want to pay double just because amazon are douches so i bought a different ereader from a different online seller.

Same here , the Kindle was cheaper in every other European country, in Germany it was 30 euro diff. , but amazon would´nt let me buy one from any other country. , and lets not get into the book pricing.
Currently waiting on a GPU ordered from Amazon .fr no problem .
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post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr soft View Post

Same here , the Kindle was cheaper in every other European country, in Germany it was 30 euro diff. , but amazon would´nt let me buy one from any other country. , and lets not get into the book pricing.
Currently waiting on a GPU ordered from Amazon .fr no problem .

Yes, computer parts I never had problems with. No shipping cost, fast delivery and low prices when ordering from amazon.de. But about kindle I read there are very little Dutch ebooks available so amazon can't make enough profit from book sales so they just don't sell kindles to Belgium/Netherlands.
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