The Netherlands drops plans to ban illegal downloading

Dutch News

There will be no official ban on the illegal downloading of films, software and music in the Netherlands, MPs decided on Thursday.

Instead, a home copy levy will be added to the cost of smartphones, cds and dvds on a permanent basis. The aim of the levy is to compensate copyright holders for income lost through illegal downloading.

‘Parliament has made the clear choice to carry out much-needed modernisation of copyright laws within the bounds of internet freedom,’ said Kees Verhoeven, an MP for the D66 Liberals and one of the authors of the legislation.

‘A download ban does not solve the problem of unpaid downloads and it also infringes on the privacy of individual users,’ Verhoeven said.

The decision to drop plans for a ban comes a month after justice minister Fred Teeven said he was to revive plans for a formal ban on the illegal downloading of books, films and music from the internet.

The Netherlands has already introduced a home copying fee of up to €5 on smartphones and dvds as a temporary ruling while details of a ban on home copying were being worked out.

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