Dutch government announces measures against downloading
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Deutsch: Niederlande: Regierung kündigt Maßnahmen gegen illegale Downloads an
On 11 April 2011, the Dutch government published its copyright policy plans for the coming years. The plans include restricting the currently existing private copying exception and the possibility to block access to websites facilitating copyright infringement. EDRi-member Bits of Freedom objected against the plans, which will lead to more repression while not providing a sustainable solution for the conflict between copyright and the internet.
Currently, downloading material without authorisation is considered to fall within the scope of the private copying exception under the Dutch copyright act. The Dutch government wants to restrict this exception to the effect that downloading from an evidently illegal source shall be deemed unlawful. In addition, the government wants to make it possible for rightsholders to have Internet providers block access to websites and services facilitating copyright infringement, as a last resort. Although the government does not intend to prosecute individual internet users, it cannot guarantee that rightsholders will not do so in civil actions.
In arguing for its plans, the government also refers to repressive copyright policies outside The Netherlands. As a justification for the restriction of the private use exception, reference is made to the Gallo report which was adopted in 2010. In addition, reference is made to draft legislation in the United States and policies in the United Kingdom regarding the blocking of websites. Digital rights organisation Bits of Freedom strongly objected to the new plans, stating that they will merely lead to repression of internet users and open the way to censorship.
Dutch government copyright plans (only in Dutch, 11.04.2011)
Press Release Bits of Freedom (only in Dutch, 11.04.2011)
(Contribution by Ot van Daalen - EDRi-member Bits of Freedom, Netherlands)