The ban takes immediate effect and the Dutch government said it will look at changing the law as soon as possible. The Ministry of Security and Justice specified that the ban is based on civil law, so infringers will not be prosecuted and will not face criminal charges.
The Hoge Raad der Nederlanden (Supreme Court of the Netherlands) decided to seek a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice on home copying in the light of the levy on blank DVDs, memory sticks and cards, smartphones and tablets the Netherlands has introduced to compensate musicians and film makers for private home copying.
But the court said on Thursday that the home copying regulations can only apply to private copying from legal sources. The amount of the levy payable for making private copies of a protected work may not take unlawful reproductions into account.
The press release announcing the verdict from the European Court of Justice can be found here.
To compensate copyright holders, the Netherlands passed a law that, since January 2013, imposed a levy on writeable media. Importers of laptops, tablets, smartphones, and MP3 players have to pay a EUR5 copyright levy to the Dutch Home Copying Foundation (Stichting Thuiskopie), and the price of a blank CD or DVD includes 3 cents for the levy.
While film makers and people from the music industry welcomed the rulinh, the industy members whose products are subject to the levy will now seek to lower or abolish the amount they have to pay for each carrier.