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European Court of Justice rules against illegal downloads in The Netherlands

Posted at 10 April 2014 19:47 CET by Kerry Brown

The Netherlands has relatively lenient copyright laws when compared to most of the rest of the world, and include provisions for “home” copying.   In a suit at the European Court, the Dutch government argued downloading copyrighted materials was equivalent to copying one’s own CD’s or DVD’s.  But on Thursday, the European Court of Justice ruled that downloading media files from illegal sources would no longer be tolerated.  A spokesman from the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice stated that this ruling means that downloading from illegal sources is immediately banned.

curia

Dutch laws will not be modified to adjust to this new ruling, but Dutch courts will no longer be able to interpret their laws to allow for illegal downloads by individuals.  There is a levy in place on various types of blank media in The Netherlands, intended to cover the “loss” of revenue from individual home copying.  Several companies brought this suit to the European court, including Sony and Philips, contending that the home copy provisions did not adequately cover losses from downloaded material, and the European Court agreed with them.

No individual downloaders will face prosecution in The Netherlands as a result of this ruling however.  Illegal downloads are seen as a civil violation, not a criminal one.  And copyright watchdog groups like Brein, say that they will focus their attention on those who upload large amounts of copyrighted works, rather than attempt to go after individuals who download such materials.

If you read Dutch, here is the link to the story at Tweakers.net.

Google translate will have to do for those who wish to view the story in English.

 

 

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There are 4 comments

paulw2
MyCE Senior Member
Posted on: 10 Apr 14 22:46
    Moral of the story. Don't live in a country controlled by the EU government..
    fabiotaugusto
    MyCE Rookie
    Posted on: 11 Apr 14 03:03
      "Moral of the story. Don't live in a country controlled by the EU government.."
      Not really, if you live in EU choose The Netherlands, because as you can read, they obey the EU and now say that is illegal, but they wont do anything about it, except "focus their attention on those who upload large amounts of copyrighted works". How much is large amounts? And downloaders as you can read "No individual downloaders will face prosecution in The Netherlands as a result of this ruling".

      Go Netherlands
      Kerry56
      Administrator
      Posted on: 11 Apr 14 03:57
        ^Brein's primary targets will be websites and services that facilitate piracy. They will also be putting more pressure on ISP's for blocking sites.

        And no prosecution for individuals means no criminal charges...it doesn't necessarily rule out civil suits by movie studios, recording studios and the like.
        tmc8080
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 11 Apr 14 23:59
          Since about 2003 (birth of The Pirate bay) the exporting of US copyright laws to the northern European countries has been relentless-- so this is not surprising. Generally lots of slush money and corruption are what makes this happen-- not real justice.

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