from the ask-Mr.-Owl dept
While my vision of the future for watching videos in the US will hopefully be averted due to competition with BitTorrent, the EU is facing a tangled web of content regulation right now. Each of the 27 members of the European Union currently has its own right to agree to content distribution deals with video vendors, creating a patchwork of regulatory requirements that will likely hinder the development of pan-European media services. The New York Times notes that this situation will likely benefit the IP lawyers in Europe over the next few years, as service providers and content owners battle over each country's legal requirements. While the European Commission is trying to create a more consumer-friendly set of regulations that every nation in the EU can agree to, it seems somewhat unlikely to happen in a timely fashion. The irony is that many of these video on demand services are aimed at giving consumers a legal alternative to piracy, but the red tape and legal disputes will be likely to point consumers to pirating until the dust has settled.