This article is also available in:
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

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

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)