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Geoblocking and minority languages

EFA MEP Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru) wants the European Commission to ensure that legislation on access to web based programming while abroad facilitates the use of Welsh and other minority languages.

Jill Evans says that 'geoblocking' – or blocking access to online content based on location – can negatively impact minority language speakers.

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans (Wales)

The European Commission has published draft legislation designed to ease access to online content whilst abroad, but only temporarily.

The so-called 'portability' regulation would allow individuals to access content from services like Netflix, for example.

But Jill Evans said that a balance must be struck between considerations of copyright and the need for minority language speakers to be able to enjoy programmes in their own languages.

Jill co-hosted a seminar in the European Parliament on the subject along with German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda.

Jill Evans commented:

"The demand for Welsh language programming also exists outside Wales's borders.

"Welsh speakers live all over the world and it should be possible for them to enjoy Welsh language broadcasting via the internet. It's unfortunate that restrictions on this kind of programming sometimes exists based on geographic location.

"We are working at a European level to see whether we can improve the situation here in Europe to begin with.

"Of course copyright legislation must be respected but in a single market such as we have in the European Union, it should be possible to overcome the current difficulties."


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