EU to force local content quotas on Netflix and Amazon


On-demand video platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime may have to provide more films and television shows made in Europe. 

The European Commission is proposing that at least 20% of the catalogues they offer to EU subscribers are made locally.

The quota is designed to protect the film industries, cultures and different languages of the member states.

The proposed legal changes would mean streaming services established in a one European country would have to finance the production of domestic film and TV content in another country, using the revenue it has generated in that nation.

So while Netflix's European headquarters are located in the Netherlands, it could potentially have to contribute between 15% –  26% of its French revenue to France's scheme to fund indigenous film and TV production.

The likes of Belgium, Italy and Spain also have their own unique financing requirements, though France remains the highest.

The proposals would also make these services responsible for protecting children. They would be required to flag harmful content and introduce age-verification and parental-control systems.

EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger said of today's proposals:

"The way we watch TV or videos may have changed, but our values don't. We also want to ensure a level playing field, responsible behavior, trust and fairness in the online platforms environment".

Netflix is strongly opposed to the new rules. Writing as part of a 2015 public consultation last year, the company said:

"The focus of European audiovisual media policy should be on incentivising the production of European content and not imposing quotas.

"We appreciate the Commission's objective to have European production flourish, however the proposed measures won’t actually achieve that".

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