The Netherlands has lengthy been a relaive secure haven for pirating customers.
Downloading films with out permission, whatever the supply, was not punishable by legislation in response to Authorities officers.
This ultimately modified in 2014 when the European Court docket of Justice spoke out against the tolerant stance.
As a consequence, the Dutch Authorities rapidly outlawed unauthorized downloading. Nevertheless, breaking the habits of a big part of the inhabitants proved tough and till today, native piracy charges have remained high.
In 2015, this prompted Dutch filmmakers affiliation SEKAM to carry the Authorities accountable, demanding compensation for the piracy losses they suffered. This week, Court docket of The Hague dominated on the matter, partially agreeing with the filmmakers.
In its verdict, the Court docket reviewed statements made by a quantity of Authorities officers made previous to the downloading ban, together with these from former State Secretary for Safety and Justice Fred Teeven.
In these statements, the Authorities made it clear that downloading pirated content material was allowed, one thing that runs opposite to EU legislation. The Court docket particularly highlights a press launch from 2011 the place this was made apparent.
Looking forward at future coverage, the press launch famous that downloading of copyright-protected works from evidently unlawful sources will turn out to be illegal, however not punishable.
This clearly means that it was tremendous till then, in response to the Court.
The unmistakable message that’s despatched is that, at that second, downloading from unlawful sources within the Netherlands is totally allowed, the Court docket writes in its verdict.
This is especially problematic since these and different statements had been made within the public area with the aim to tell the public.
Based on this message, expressed by the accountable Authorities official within the public area and within the media, there may have been downloaders who assumed that downloading from unlawful sources was permitted, whereas this was usually recognized to be forbidden in different EU member states, the decision reads.
As a consequence, the Authorities is accountable for the statements, which opens the door to a damages claim.
While the Court docket sides with the filmmakers on this difficulty, Tweakers highlights that the Court docket doesnt rule on whether or not the Authorities can be held chargeable for its lack of enforcement after the obtain ban in 2014. That must be decided in a civil case.
The filmmakers group Sekam sees the decision as a robust sign, NOS experiences. The group now plans to enter into negotiations with the Authorities about potential compensation.
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