Because of the 25-year copyright protection, several companies in the UK sell replicas of classic European furniture which cannot be sold in other EU member states due to copyright. Examples include Danish classics, such as the famous Egg chair, designed by Arne Jacobsen, who died in 1971.
These replicas are also sold to Danish consumers, among other things, through UK webshops. The Danish furniture industry has successfully pursued a number of legal options in Denmark against the UK sellers in order to stop this activity. A recent Danish court decision from 12 November 2014 concerns the UK company Voga Ltd. which operates a webshop, voga.com.
Less than a week after EU digital commissioner Andrus Ansip announced he wants to end geo-blocking, his fellow commissioner Gunther Oettinger indicated he was in no rush to abolish the practice of restricting online content based on someone's location.
Leaked copies of the upcoming Digital Single Market Strategy and its supporting Evidence file show the European Commission is ready to propose vast regulatory reforms that could affect everything from sales taxes and e-privacy to Internet searches and big data.
Speaking at Midem yesterday, Andrus Ansip of the European Commission shared his vision for the Digital Single Market. Noting that geo-blocking is bad for business, Ansip said that opening up content across borders and providing good legal options is the best way to tackle piracy. "Our legislation is pushing people to steal," he said.
The European Commission started two public consultations Thursday, as part of its Digital Single Market strategy. One is about the role of online platforms such as Google and Amazon, and asks whether they should be more transparent. The other asks citizens about their opinion and experience with geo-blocking.
The Commission wants to hear from citizens, manufacturers, retailers (especially SMEs), right holders, data and cloud service providers and users, as well as all those involved in the collaborative economy.
Please see the press release here.
On 18 March 2016, the European Commission published an issues paper on geo-blocking in e-commerce containing its initial findings from the e-commerce sector inquiry it launched on 6 May 2015. The Commission stated that geo-blocking practices are widespread and reconfirmed its intention to assess such practices under the EU antitrust rules and to propose further legislative action to address what it sees as unjustified barriers to cross-border e-commerce.