To link to this article, copy this persistent link:
(Jan 07, 2013)
On December 20, 2012, the Staten-Generaal (the Dutch parliament) adopted a motion rejecting a ban on illegal downloading of electronic material and passed instead a measure to broaden the scope of copyright-related fees imposed on electronic devices, effective January 1, 2013. The legislators voted, in all, on four motions having to do with changes in copyright policy. (Robert Briel, No Downloading Ban in the Netherlands, BROADBAND TV NEWS (Dec. 21, 2012); Dutch MPs Reject Ban on Illegal Downloads, MSN NZ (Dec. 22, 2012).)
Prohibition of Ban on Illegal Downloads
By virtue of the prohibition of the illegal downloading ban, the Dutch authorities will not force Internet service providers (ISPs) to block private users from Internet access, in contrast to the "three strikes" rule adopted in
As expressed by the author of the motion, MP Kees Verhoeven, "[T]he lower house has chosen vital copyright modernisation within the limits of everyone's freedom on the internet … . Banning downloading doesn't really resolve the problem of illegal downloading and raises problems concerning the privacy of individual users." (Dutch MPs Reject Ban on Illegal Downloads, supra.)
Home Copy Fee
The adoption of the expanded "home [or private] copy fee" (thuiskopieheffing) will affect consumer electronic devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets, smart phones, hard drives, and PVRs (personal video recorders). A similar fee has already been levied on blank media such as writable CDs, DVDs, and tapes. The Order of October 23, 2012, which revised the previous fee rules, was published in the Official Gazette of the
This new administrative regulation is based on article 16c of the Copyright Act, on fair remuneration for reproduction of an author's work in or on a product. Under item 6 of article 16c, the Dutch government is authorized to stipulate detailed rules with regard to the products and the "level, chargeability, and form" of equitable remuneration for the author, i.e., the amount of fees due. (Copyright Act, art. 16c(6); Killan & Rieger-Jansen, supra.) (Auteurswet [Copyright Act] of Sept. 23, 1912 (last amended July 12, 2012, in force on Jan. 1, 2013), OVERHEID.NL; Armand Killan & Manon Rieger-Jansen, Dutch Get New Copyright Levies for Electronics/Storage Devices (Oct. 30, 2012).)
The fee introduced on January 1, 2013, to be in force for one year, ranges from €5 (about US$6.60) for computers and laptops to €1 for external hard drives. The specific fee charged will depend on the storage capacity of the device, State Secretary for Security and Justice and Minister for Migration,Fred Teeven told MPs in October. (Government Puts Home Copy Tax on Smartphones, Tablets, DUTCH NEWS.NL (Oct. 25, 2012); Dutch MPs Reject Ban on Illegal Downloads, supra; for the list of items and fees, see, e.g., Killan & Rieger-Jansen, supra.) The money raised will reportedly go to a special foundation that will divide up the funds among the copyright holders. (Government Puts Home Copy Tax on Smartphones, Tablets, supra.)
The new list "is relevant to a vast number of companies internationally," according to one international law firm's commentary, because of the broad variety of electronic devices it covers. The list is particularly significant, moreover, because "the
Some stakeholders have long advocated imposition of an electronic device fee, but others, such as HP and Dell, "fear the costs of such a levy will be very high and plan to take the Dutch state to court over the issue." (Briel, supra.) Moreover, one of the motions adopted on December 20 called upon the government to abolish the home copy fee scheme from January 1, 2014, and adopt an alternative enforcement mechanism that focuses solely on large-scale and/or commercial copyright infringements. (Moties VAO: downloadverbod, ISPs als politieagent, afschaffing thuiskopie per 2014 en settopboxen, IE-FORUM.NL (Dec. 12, 2012).)
Other Relevant Motions
The two other motions on copyright policy adopted by the Parliament on December 20 called on the
- Author: Wendy Zeldin More by this author
- Topic: Intellectual property More on this topic
- Jurisdiction: Netherlands More about this jurisdiction
Search Legal News
Find legal news by topic, country, keyword, date, or author.
Global Legal Monitor RSS
Get the Global Legal Monitor delivered to your inbox. Sign up for RSS service.
The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It is updated frequently and draws on information from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the GLM.
Last updated: 01/07/2013