Press Release - Geo-Blocking and eBooks

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The Commission has adopted a package of 6 initiatives to improve the Digital Single Market. This includes a proposal for a Regulation on geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on place of residence or establishment, or nationality within the Single Market.
The Inception Impact Assessment of the Regulation as announced a year ago read the initiative discussed in this IIA only addresses those practices not based on copyright or licensing agreements. These will be addressed by the Commission in separate initiatives under the DSM Strategy.
Therefore the book sector represented by the Federation of European Publishers is satisfied that the text adopted by the College of Commissioners excludes ebooks (and other services supplied by electronic means and subject to Article 20 of the Services’ Directive) with a review clause. This will allow publishers and booksellers to provide evidence on the impact of such a legislation on the sector, especially on the SMEs.

FEP President Pierre Dutilleul said ‘The ebook market is still in early stages in most of the European countries and the investments made by all players are considerable to serve the widest possible audience. However, because of the sheer size of the current ebook market and because legislations meant to safeguard and promote cultural diversity need to be respected, including ebooks in the Regulation without having assessed the impact would have been detrimental to the market itself. With this review clause, FEP and its members will be working with the services of the EC to find the right balance to encourage a sustainable ecosystem for the book’.
It is to be noted that print books are covered by the scope of the Regulation.

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For more information, contact Anne Bergman-Tahon: / 003227701110