No downloading ban in the Netherlands

The Dutch Parliament has adopted a motion that prohibits a ban on illegal downloading. Instead, a fee on all electronic devices is levied.

The parliamentary vote means that the Dutch government will not force ISPs to block internet access by private users, such as the French ‘three strikes’ rule (Hadopi). According to the parliament, the issue of illegal downloading would be better addressed by improving and simplifying the provision of legal content.

Parliament also voted to introduce a so-called ‘private copy fee’ on all electronic devices sold, including laptops, PCs, smart phones, hard drives, PVRs.

Various stakeholders have long pushed for a fee on electronic devices in addition to the one already charged for blank media such as tapes, writable CDs and DVDs.

But a number of companies, including Acer, HP and Dell as well as CE manufacturers fear the costs of such a levy will be very high and plan to take the Dutch state to court over the issue.

According to estimates by Dutch right holders, the new levy would initially bring in around €60 million, but a recent study published by PwC said that the Dutch film and music industry has lost no more than €12.1 million in revenue due to illegal copies