Saturday

8th May 2021

Netherlands looking to French-style crack-down on internet piracy

In the wake of France's imposition of its controversial three-strikes legislation aiming to crush internet piracy, the Dutch parliament has called on the government to also deal harshly with offenders.

A cross-party commission investigating the subject of downloading copyright content without permission found that such behaviour is rampant amongst young people.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Dutch MPs want parents to be held responsible for their children's downloading (Photo: Lee Jordan)

The commission, bringing together MPs from the ruling Christian Democrats, their Labour Party coalition partners, the conservative VVD and the far-left Socialists, issued a report on Thursday (18 June) that revealed that it has become a kind of sport to download films from the internet before they have even been released in movie theatres.

Currently in the Netherlands, only the uploading of such content to the internet is a punishable offence, but not downloading.

The MPs want the government to bring in new legislation to change that situation and calls on justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin and economy minister Maria van der Hoeven to crack down on internet piracy.

The report argues that parents should be held responsible for the downloading activity of their children.

Campaigners against the French three strikes bill fear that the country is inspiring copycat legislation elsewhere in Europe and attacked the Dutch MPs report.

"Governments must realise that the cost of repression exceeds by far the benefits and most of the time harms civil liberties," Jeremie Zimmerman of La Quadrature du Net, an internet freedom pressure group, told EUobserver in reaction to the release of the report.

"File-sharing is unstoppable anyway. The real question will be about how to use it to find new ways of funding creation. All conservative and repressive measures are bound to fail."

The commission's report also recommended that a new licensing framework be introduced in which music, films and video games could be downloaded for a fee.

The report also calls for the elimination of the levy imposed on CDs and DVDs within three years to reduce consumer prices.

Pressure mounts on EU cloud deal as deadline looms

The European Commission is under pressure to keep to its self-imposed September deadline to publish an EU cloud computing strategy, as new evidence revealed widespread public confusion about it.

News in Brief

  1. Report: Czech minister plotted to bury evidence on Russian attack
  2. Putin promotes Russia's 'Kalashnikov-like' vaccine
  3. Coronavirus: Indian variant clusters found across England
  4. UN report encourages EU methane cuts
  5. EU court upholds ban on bee-harming pesticides
  6. Israeli tourists welcomed back by EU
  7. EU duped into funding terrorist group, Israel says
  8. Brussels prepares portfolio of potential Covid-19 treatments

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. MEPs win battle for bigger citizens' voice at Conference
  2. Hungary gags EU ministers on China
  3. Poland and Hungary push back on 'gender equality' pre-summit
  4. EU preparing to send soldiers to Mozambique
  5. EU now 'open' to vaccine waiver, after Biden U-turn
  6. EU mulls using new 'peace' fund to help Libyan coast guard
  7. Poland 'breaks EU law' over judges, EU court opinion says
  8. 11 EU states want to cut fossil-fuels from cross-border projects

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us