Sunday

27th Nov 2022

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.

Phone spying scandal exposes 'impotent' Europe, says lead MEP

Democracy in Europe is being undermined by alleged government-led spyware on citizens, journalists and politicians, says Dutch liberal MEP Sophie In't Veld, who is lead report writer for a European Parliament probe into the abuse.

Cyber-risk from Internet of Things prompts new EU rules

With evermore connected devices on the market, new EU rules aim to minimise cybersecurity risks from innocuous household appliances and industrial operating systems — amid concern over the increasing number of cyberattacks and their cost for companies.

EU parliament spyware inquiry eyes Italian firms

An investigation by Lighthouse Reports and media partners including EUobserver found Italian firms Tykelab and RCS Lab were using surreptitious phone network attacks and sophisticated spyware against targets. The findings have spiked the interest of MEPs already probing spyware abuse.

Investigation

NSO surveillance rival operating in EU

As European Parliament hearings into hacking scandals resume this week, an investigation led by Lighthouse Reports with EUobserver, Der Spiegel, Domani and Irpimedia reveals the unreported scale of operations at a shady European surveillance outfit.

News in Brief

  1. 'Pro-Kremlin group' in EU Parliament cyberattack
  2. Ukraine will decide on any peace talks, Borrell says
  3. Germany blocks sale of chip factory to Chinese subsidiary
  4. Strikes and protests over cost-of-living grip Greece, Belgium
  5. Liberal MEPs want Musk quizzed in parliament
  6. Bulgarian policeman shot dead at Turkish border
  7. 89 people allowed to disembark in Italy, aid group says
  8. UN chief tells world: Cooperate on climate or perish

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges
  2. The 'proof' problem with EU sanctions — and how to fix it
  3. The EU gas cap: will the bottle ever be 'uncorked'?
  4. Enough talk, only rights can eliminate patriarchal violence
  5. Swedish EU presidency: 'Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine'
  6. EU Commission to keep Hungary's EU funds in limbo
  7. 'No substance' price ceiling for gas leaves everyone disgruntled
  8. Paying consumers who save most energy could tame gas prices

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us