Netflix may soon have to let EU travellers access their nation’s library everywhere

Netflix may soon have to let you watch British content when you’re abroad inside the EU. Currently, the streaming service just provides you with access to whatever Netflix content is available within the country you’re located in but a newly proposed EU law could see that change.

Netflix may soon have to let EU travellers access their nation’s library everywhere

The new law, which EU member states have tentatively agreed to, will see Netflix and other streaming services providing temporary roaming access to customers from 2017 onwards. This means that, if you’re travelling to France for a week, you won’t be subjected to French Netflix – allowing you to watch British Netflix instead.

The EU plans to break down the barriers of the continent by allowing for people to use the services they know and love wherever they are within EU member states. While that’s a great thing for those of us who live inside the EU, if the lap goes to pass on 26 May, it could give the likes of Netflix a headache to deal with.

Currently, these streaming services use your IP address to work out your location. While you can fool that with a VPN or DNS to watch American Netflix, the EU’s move means that it will no longer be able to rely upon your IP address to serve you the “correct” content.

It’s likely Netflix would adopt something based upon your account preferences. But then that calls into question the legality of cross-border content. If you’re watching a show in Spain but not via the Spanish rights holder, is Netflix to blame?

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