The European Union lawmakers and member states have inked a preliminary agreement that, once approved, will oblige several online streaming providers to make financial contributions to many European films and television programs. That means the new policy will apply not only to traditional broadcast organizations but to online video platforms as well, with at least 30 percent of the funding to be set aside for European content on video-on-demand services.
As part of the deal, companies like Netflix and Amazon could be required under the new policy to help fund the production of European content either through direct investments or contribution to national funds. It’s worth pointing out that the EU’s member states may require online stream providers to make contributions for European works even if these companies are not based in their territory. That is quite a departure from existing rules which allow member states to require on-demand services to help fund European content only if the provider is based in that country. Also, on-demand video services will be mandated to contribute financially to EU content in a certain member state with an amount of funding that is proportionate to its revenue in that territory under the new legislation.
On top of financial contributions to EU content, the preliminary deal will also require video-sharing services to address the spread of video content that promotes “violence, hatred and terrorism” by putting new methods in place that would help users report such content in a transparent and easy manner. The European Union has been planning to establish measures in recent times as part of efforts to oblige social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter to sanction hate speech and other inappropriate materials posted on their platforms. In May last year, the EU ministers voted in favor of some law proposals that would force social networks to directly address troubling content such as hate speech and fake news, with the initial proposal giving a major focus on videos and requiring Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and other social media platforms to immediately remove videos containing hate speech and terrorist propaganda, which have been plaguing popular online networks in recent times.