Dutch court rules against law that allowed file downloading

Ruling made in STOBI versus SONT case

A court in the Netherlands has ruled against an interpretation of local copyright law that allowed for downloading of copyrighted materials.

"An explanation by the minister and government, which concludes that a private copy from an illegal source should be considered to be legal, is violating [the law]," a court in the city of The Hague ruled on Wednesday.

The Netherlands currently have a unique legal situation where downloading of copyrighted materials is allowed and only uploading is forbidden. The judge now ruled that when the original source is illegal, any copies too should be considered illegal.

The Dutch justice minister in 2006 created the exception to allow for the pragmatic enforcement of copyright laws. A law similar to the U.S. Home recording act allows consumers to make copies of CDs and other media that they had legally purchased. Since it is impossible to verify if a user downloading a file was entitled to do so under the Home Recording Act, all downloading was sanctioned.

Legal experts cautioned that the consequences of the ruling have yet to be determined. In addition to a ban on downloading copyrighted materials, parties could also decide to increase copy levies on rewritable CDs and DVDs or expand such levies to other media such as hard drives and hard disk recorders.

The NVPI, a trade group representing producers and importers of audio and video materials, said it was pleased with the ruling. The organisation has always maintained that the exemption violated European rules. "I don't know many rulings where a judge is directly overruling the minister," NVPI spokesperson Wouter Rutten told Webwereld, a Dutch IDG affiliate.

The ruling is was made in a case between STOBI and SONT. STOBI represents manufacturers of rewritable media such as DVDs and CDs. SONT collects copy levies that are waged on such media to compensate artists for illegal copying. Those levies are collected by STOBI's members. The suit demanding that the levies be lowered. The judge sided with some of their arguments, prompting STOBI to predict a lowering in copy levies.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Sanders

WebWereld Netherlands
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?