Let’s Hope 2018 Brings Us Global Copyright Regulations

image from www.anitox.comDespite being part of the European Union, complete with all its rules and regulations, some European countries seem to be considered to be second-grade, at least from the point of view of certain international service providers.

Romania is one of these, it seems. It was among the last European countries to get Netflix access, https://www.alljackpotscasino.com is still off limits for locals, and it is still without official access to Spotify despite masses of users actively demanding it online.

The popular music streaming service has been rumoured to make it into the Romanian market for years – the latest rumor spoke of October 2017 as being the date when its services will "definitely" become available in the country – but there is still no word about when this will actually happen. Why the delay, some might ask, and why are other services also delayed in certain parts of the world?

Because Spotify is not a singular case. Other online streaming services are also being launched late in many countries – actually, their launch is most of the times limited to a handful, while leaving other parts of the world craving to be included. YouTube Red, for example, is currently only available in Australia, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and, of course, the United States. For those who haven't heard of the service yet – which, given the eagle eyes everyone is keeping on Google, one of the world's largest digital content distributors, would be a surprise – YouTube Red is a subscription-based service offering users ad-free videos, uninterrupted music streaming, original content, offline viewing and most importantly, background play (on Android, YouTube videos stop playing once you lock the screen).

The culprit for these services' selective availability is the fact that different countries tend to have different regulations when it comes to intellectual property. Whenever a music streaming service plans to launch, it has to strike licensing and royalty deals with the three biggest music labels in the world: Warner, Universal, and Sony. These agreements allow the service to provide users with content they can listen to online as well as the artists to be paid (fairly) for their work. But these agreements are usually only valid in the United States – in other countries, there may be other labels distributing the same artists' works or no label at all. This means that, whenever a service wants to enter a certain market, all deals need to be re-negotiated with the local branch of the same label, not to mention its obligation to fine-tune the service itself to be compliant with any and all local laws referring to the distribution of copyrighted material. This is one of the reasons why small companies usually stick to their home markets and for big names, it takes a lot of time (and effort) to launch in a certain market.

Services are blocked in certain countries, people are locked out – but not all of them. There will always be those who find workarounds for these obstacles and do enjoy the service they want the way they want it, from any country in the world.

Share on: