After it was announced with bells and whistles May 8, the European Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy met with considerable resistance. Threatening to dismantle territory-by-territory licensing in Europe, its push for cross-border access — whereby people in the E.U. would be free to buy content situated on other countries’ digital platforms — is now being whittled down to a less extreme version that will still have a significant effect on the European and American media and tech business when the plan is finalized.

Why on earth, Europe and Hollywood argued, would a distributor in France put up much money for a movie if, airing on a digital platform in Estonia, it could be accessed online in France before its theatrical release? The E.C. now appears to have pulled back. Here, however, are five ways the DSM might still change entertainment:

  1. TV Anywhere on Your Mobile Device

“For the content industry, the changes implied by the Digital Single Market won’t be massive because the business model of exclusive territory-by-territory licensing is going to stay,” said Guy Bisson, at Ampere Analysis. The Commission is pressing forward, however, on more targeted cross-border access initiatives. Announced as draft regulation Dec. 9, a first-step is “portability,” allowing E.U. residents to temporarily access digital content or services they bought in their home country when they’re traveling within Europe. Some local VOD services in Europe — France’s Molotov.tv, Filmin in Spain — are delighted. Bigger competition-shy broadcasters may be less enthusiastic.

2. Horses for Different Courses: Europe’s Games Industry

“A Digital Single Market would be a huge success for Europe’s games industry, which doesn’t have the entrenched value chains of the film and TV sectors. Its ability to tap into a vast European scale would be far more cost-effective in order to distribute games content to consumers,” said Daniel Knapp, at IHS. Whether the European Commission will get round to a sector-by-sector analysis of DSM benefits remains to be seen, however, he added.

3. Tooning Up Euro Toons?

Europe’s toon pics – think “Paddington,” Aardman — export better than its live action movies, a recent European Audiovisual Observatory study suggested. The Commission announced also on Dec. 9 that it would explore alternative models of financing, production and distribution for the animation sector.  No concrete proposals are in place. But TV/film animation in Europe would certainly welcome a leg-up. Development and P&A coin for theatrical releases is usually sparse, for example.

4.Fighting the Good Fight

Adopting “follow-the-money” tactics, the Commission promised Dec. 9 to attempt to deprive commercial-scale pirates of revenue flows, such as advertising, as well as to develop more rigorous procedures for removing illegal content from online services. But piracy might be curbed, never cured; or so fairly common industry wisdom now goes. “Shutting down the large aggregations of pirates out there uploading large amounts of high quality content on a disaggregated network basis is rather like playing whack-a-mole. When one site shuts down, another pops up,” Bisson lamented.

5. How Long Will Borders Hold?

Industry orgs worry that portability needs far more robust definitions – how temporary is temporary when it comes to travel? — and stringent authentication of sites and users. At least in May, the Commission envisaged broadcaster digital services, such as, forseeably, the BBC iPlayer, being received in country’s outside their origin in a new Cable & Satellite Directive, under review in 2016.

In other words, one major effect of the Digital Single Market may be that, going forward, Europe and Hollywood’s assembled trade org honchos may still spend an inordinate amount ensuring that the Commission’s single market zeal, however well-intended, doesn’t mean the reintroduction of cross-border access by the back-door.