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Dutch government moves to outlaw pirate downloads

Dutch government moves to outlaw pirate downloads

The Dutch ant-piracy group BREIN has already taken on huge torrent sites such as Mininova.

The Dutch government is making moves to make the downloading of pirated materials illegal within its borders. Up until now, only the wilful uploading of pirated materials had actually been illegal.

This hasn’t stopped the country's copyright holders from pursuing web pirates, though. After all, the Dutch anti piracy group BREIN is well known for taking on huge torrent sites such as Mininova. It’s also achieved notable victories over The Pirate Bay and FTD; one of the largest Usenet communities on the Internet.

The country's state secretary of security and justice, Fred Teeven, laid out the new plans in a letter to parliament. A part of the proposal is making the unauthorised uploading or downloading of all copyrighted material completely illegal.

The implementation of this law does at least have a silver lining, though, as the government will also be removing the ‘copy-levy’ that it currently applies to all sales of blank CDs or DVDs. The levy ranges from 12p to 53p per piece depending on the type of media, and was put in place to create a fund to compensate rights holders for films and music that were copied for personal use.

The new law may well be popular with copyright holders, but it’s likely to be difficult to enforce accurately and fairly, as with the UK's ‘three strikes’ policy aimed at curbing illegal downloads. It’s also not yet clear what penalties will be given to those caught breaking the new law.

Do you think zero-tolerance legislation is the best way to curb illegal downloading, or does the industry need to come up with a more novel solution than threatening fines and prison terms? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

18 Comments

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TheLostSwede 12th April 2011, 17:15 Quote
I guess it'll be good business for the various VPN services on offer that hides your IP address...
NethLyn 12th April 2011, 17:22 Quote
Unenforceable. If industry groups want to take on pirates that's up to them, but the government should have just left the levy on blanks so that the affected parties carried on getting some cash.
Darkefire 12th April 2011, 17:24 Quote
Because zero-tolerance legislation has worked so well to curb the illegal use of drugs, alcohol, prostitution, etc. Have fun paying extra taxes so your government can stop 0.001% of all illegal downloaders each year, Dutch citizens!
minus0ne 12th April 2011, 17:58 Quote
I think the Dutch would call this "kansloos". Just another deluded pipe dream of Fred Teeven, one he's had for a while now (it's easy to get the distinct impression the only things Teeven knows about the internet is what his BREIN buddies wrote down for him). But this minority government has no chance of sneaking this through parliament, let alone a very hostile senate (and ISPs are already suing the government over data retention; this won't go down any better).
BRAWL 12th April 2011, 18:25 Quote
Haha, what fools.

because legislation is going to stop piracy.
McSteel 12th April 2011, 18:55 Quote
Fail, through and through.
KingSheepy 12th April 2011, 19:10 Quote
Why don't countries spend their parliament time on trying to solve IMPORTANT issues such as war and poverty and not petty intellectual property disputes?
GregTheRotter 12th April 2011, 19:12 Quote
This is from the country that says pot smoking? No problem.
l3v1ck 12th April 2011, 23:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingSheepy
Why don't countries spend their parliament time on trying to solve IMPORTANT issues such as war and poverty and not petty intellectual property disputes?
Hardly petty. Millions are invested in games and torrenting them/playing them without paying is no different to stealing a copy from a shop.
We may all rightky rant about defective DRM that ruins things for paying customers, but saying that theft isn't worth legislating against is just silly.
TWeaK 13th April 2011, 00:47 Quote
Now l3v1ck, don't start that old 'copying is theft' business, it's been done over and over here and just about everywhere else. In fact, I'm surprised it hasn't been Rule 34'ed.

I'm curious with this, though. Does it mean that downloading copyrighted material without authorisation would be a criminal offense, or are they just looking to implement the same civil laws that most other Western countries have? If it's criminal, then that would open a big ol' can of worms.
dark_avenger 13th April 2011, 02:32 Quote
If the film and music industries just caught up to the 21st century dropped there prices and made it easy as hell to download legally then this wouldn't be an issue.
leexgx 13th April 2011, 02:51 Quote
most likely only interested in users who up-load data, as its easy to collect data on that
NickCPC 13th April 2011, 09:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteel
Fail, through and through.

This. Some silver lining too.
Xir 13th April 2011, 10:09 Quote
That's not what it says in the dutch media.
http://nos.nl/artikel/232279-illegaal-downloaden-wordt-echt-illegaal.html
There it says he "wants to enable rights holders to sue sharing websites directly" something they couldn't till now.
Also it says this is "directed against the Middle-Man" not the end user.
"Downloading will become Illegal, but not punishable"
This was already true for games and software, and should now become true for movies and music as well.
Before, unly Uploading was illegal, downloading wasn't.
It says literally "consumers shouldn't be afraid that they would be prosecuted, as is the case in France and England" ... "There are no sanctions for downloaders".

Typical dutch move, forbid but don't enforce...just like the drug laws.

So what ticker did you read this from and how did you confirm it?
AcidJiles 13th April 2011, 11:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dark_avenger
If the film and music industries just caught up to the 21st century dropped there prices and made it easy as hell to download legally then this wouldn't be an issue.

QFT
[USRF]Obiwan 13th April 2011, 15:15 Quote
If i would take this literal then Youtube can close their doors. Because all video's are copyrighted to their owner/creator.

I wonder how far this can be taken. If I look outside through the window I 'download' everything I see into my brain. Since all things are copyrighted (Except nature) I must be a uber criminal, even worse then a terrorist...
alpaca 14th April 2011, 11:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dark_avenger
If the film and music industries just caught up to the 21st century dropped there prices and made it easy as hell to download legally then this wouldn't be an issue.

We just need a Steam for movies.
Xir 14th April 2011, 13:56 Quote
Try Lovefilm :D
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