The Business Secretary of the UK is desperately worried that when travelling to other countries, Brits will encounter a different selection of Netflix programming from what they are used to at home. This trivial issue seems to demand a whole new regulatory and copyright regime:
Vince Cable will risk a clash with the film and music industries on Tuesday by calling for the creation of a single EU market for digital services such as Netflix.
The Business Secretary will say in a speech in Brussels that such services should offer the same content in all EU member states, for services paid for in one country to be available in the same form in all countries and for pricing offers to be replicated across the continent.
At present Netflix and Spotify, which operates a subscription streaming service for music, offers different catalogues at different prices depending on where the customer is located.
Harmonising such services across the EU would require copyright holders to change the way they license their material, which is currently carefully segmented for different geographic markets to maximise sales
Whenever Euro-regulators suggest harmonization across countries, they always assume that harmonization will lead to everyone adopting whatever the lowest current rate and broadest service offering that exists in any one country. But why? That pretty much never happens. It is at least as likely that anyone getting harmonized will get worse service at a higher price.