If you have ever tried to access your Apple music or Spotify account abroad, you have probably found that if either told refused you access for being “out of territory” or let you in only to kick you out again a few days later. Well the EU have come up with a solution to this problem with the “Regulation on cross-border portability of online content services”.

The regulation basically requires anyone operating an website/app which allows consumer to access online content in return for a fee, to access the same content in any other member state where they are temporarily resident.

There are some limits to this, the consumer must be a resident of a member state and the website/app owner can carry out reasonable checks on residency. The quality of the content does not have to of the same standard as that in the member state that the consumer resides, unless the website/app owners makes quality guarantees in its terms and conditions. If this is the case, then these guarantees must apply to content accessed across the EU. In addition, the regulation does not apply where the content is free, unless the website/app owners wishes to make it available.

Whilst this is great news for consumers, it does pose some contractual issues for website/app owners. In particular, they need to consider whether they make any guarantees in relation to quality and if it is possible for them to comply with such guarantees in other members states. Also, there will be issues in relation to licences with the owners of content and it would be wish to have a look at the arrangements that are currently in place. The regulation prevents content owners from enforcing contracts that do comply with these regulations, so it is not all doom and gloom but it will be wise to have a contract review anyway. The regulations come into force in March 2018.

If you require any further information about these regulations or any issues arising from them, please contact Edmund Probert at edmundprobert@www.probertlegal.com or Tracey Wakelam at traceywakelam@www.probertlegal.com. Solicitors covering Devon, Cornwall and the rest of the country.