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Country of Origin

Tim Johnson


Japan, United Kingdom

EU consultation on the 2010 Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

The European Union is undertaking a review of the 2010 Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). A consultation questionnaire has been published, for which responses are requested by 30 September 2015 when the public consultation closes.

One of the interesting issues addressed in the consultation
questionnaire is the “Country of Origin” principle. The AVMSD covers television broadcasts and on-demand services which are TV-like and for which providers have editorial responsibility (it does not apply to content hosted by intermediaries or content-sharing platforms). Under the AVMSD (and the Television Without Frontiers Directive which preceded it), the general approach is that a minimum set of regulatory requirements are to be implemented in each EU Member State in relation to television and on-
demand services that fall within that Member State’s jurisdiction.

The principle is that provided a service is licensed in a Member State (which by definition means that it will have met the minimum criteria collectively set by the EU on behalf of all the Member States), then that service is licensed to be made available throughout the European Union. Each Member State is free to impose more strict regulatory requirements, but a Member State should not interfere with a service property licensed in another Member State even though it may not meet the more stringent requirements.

Below we review some of the issues that need to be considered in the context of reviewing how the Country of Origin principle has operated in practice and may operate in the context of any modified AVMSD.

Please click here to download the full report.

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