Dutch Publishing Organization Says Filesharing Should Be A Criminal Offense

from the bad-idea-of-the-day dept

Even though The Netherlands' plans for copyright enforcement are quite far reaching, the Dutch Publisher Association, which includes about 90% of Dutch publishers among its members, says it does not go far enough, and is now asking for criminal prosecution of filesharers. The Association also claims that the new policy justifies sanctions against downloaders, such as fines, "if only for the preventive effect." What stands out, is that the Association also wants equal rules for "paper and digital copies," which could possibly equate counterfeiting to filesharing. To top things off, the statement also opposes the state secretary's plans for introducing a fair use policy in The Netherlands.

While much of the response is predictable and needs no further discussion on my part (comments are open, discuss away!), I would like to highlight again the fact that they're arguing for bringing filesharers to criminal, instead of civil, courts. This, in my opinion, clearly displays the way current copyright law and its developments clash with certain civil rights (and perhaps human rights). This is not the first time such a measure has been suggested and it will not be the last time; the lobbies and the companies they represent are rapidly draining money. Making this a matter of criminal prosecution instead of civil suits would mean that these lawsuits would rapidly decrease in cost for the industry -- but puts that cost on the taxpayer. This burdens the overall government and taxpayer, but enables organizations to continue their fight against the internet, third party innovation and the loss of control.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Devonavar, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Can you say recipe for massive civil disobedience. Do they *want* to make p2p downloading a symbol for political corruption?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Wait a minute, let me get my coffee... okay.

    PHHHHHHHHHHT!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    If this happens, you can expect Dutch 'Net users to get incredibly up in arms - especially since, as it has been pointed out on this very blog in the past, practically everyone who surfs the Internet today commits an act of copyright infringement/"piracy" every day, whether they realize it or not.

    This would also clog up the court system with hundreds, if not thousands, of petty criminal complaints.

    This makes the RIAA look intelligent.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Ok, let me guess how's it going to be:

    "It's so funny to see you frirates (freetard pirates) jiggle and scream every time the knot tightens around your friracy (freetard piracy). It's been a nice free (Continental) breakfast so far, but that will soon be over (those breakfasts are tiny)."

    ...

    "Oh, and Mike is your ringleader."

    I hope that captures the essence of TAM well. Now that that's out of the way, let's go back to your regularly scheduled online discussion.

     

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  5.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Because when technology forces your business to change, it makes perfect sense to involve law enforcement!

    Y'know, usually, I'm pretty proud of my heritage... but at the moment, I'm glad I can't read dutch because if I could, I'd probably throw up in my mouth a little.


    ... damn you Google Translate... *hurk*

     

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  6.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

    Duh!

    Google should buy the global publishing industry as well. That will finally put an end to the book-scanning shenanigans!

     

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  7.  
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    Dirk Poot (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    It gets worse...

    Nu.nl reports that the publisher association elaborated that they also want to outlaw sharing of legally downloaded materials with friends. No lending and borrowing of e-books!

    This has nothing to do with equal rules for paper and digital, it boils down to theft. They want to make it illegal to lend an e-book to a friend, as one can now freely do with a paper copy.

    Google translation: http://is.gd/lrT0I2 (2nd to last paragraph)

     

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  8.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    I only engage in legal filesharing

    The only things I've ever downloaded via BitTorrent are Slackware Linux ISO images. That seems to be the preferred method of distribution of Slackware according to Slackware.com itself, near the time of release of a new version.

    Why do the Dutch Publishers want to make me into a criminal?

    This plan is extremely silly. All it does is make "The Internet" into some kind of a unicast medium, like Tee Vee or Radio. "We publish the Content, you pay for the content". That's a load of rubbish.

     

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  9.  
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    Eri (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    I don't think that merely making file sharing a criminal offence would be very useful in terms of enforcement. You see, the Dutch legal system has one very peculiar feature: the prosecutor's office has a monopoly on prosecution; it is for the OM to decide how to proceed. It is rather obvious that small "infringements" are very unlikely to warrant prosecution. Having the legislation in place is not quite the same as having the willingness to actually prosecute. And pushing can only get you so far...
    An example of a similar situation are soft drugs - yes, it is a criminal offence to buy, sell, possess, produce etc., BUT the OM has a policy not to prosecute in certain cases (small quantities for personal use, coffee shops following set criteria).
    When it comes to file-sharing, I would say that "fair use" would probably be a sound reason not to prosecute. Thus having a criminal offence, and actually prosecuting people for sharing files is quite different, and fair use is quite consistent, at least in the Dutch context.

     

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  10.  
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    jenningsthecat (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    I sooooo want to see this trend continue.

    This kind of 'dinosaur thinking' is going to continue as long as corporations and their lobbying organizations the world over are in charge of governments, and I say 'let it'!

    The result will almost certainly be a strong artistic counterculture in which copying and sharing are explicitly permitted and encouraged by authors and artists. Art which is predicated on entitlement, and which denies the reality of technological and cultural advances, will simply have no audience and no market.

     

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  11.  
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    abc gum, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 5:46pm

    File Sharing - pffffft what a misnomer. Seriously, can anyone please come up with better terminology and convince the pundits to start using it?

    Computers share files, by design, that is the way it works. You can not send an email, post to Facebook or read the online NY Times without sharing files.

     

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  12.  
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    VMax, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

    Re:

    Nicely done sir.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 9:15pm

    Who cares what those drug-addled bastards do?

     

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  14.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 1:35am

    Re: It gets worse...

    Yeah, you're right about that. I'm not sure if that's a proper elaboration or just Nu.nl's interpretation.

     

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  15.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 1:36am

    Re: Re: It gets worse...

    but still the point remains standing

     

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  16.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 3:18am

    Re:

    Those "drug addled bastards" had a world-spanning merchant empire when your country was just natives and a few useless pilgrims!

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    Free Distribution Service?

    Pro Bono Promotion?

    Archivists R Us?

    Popularity Metric?

    Gateway to Gettin' Paid for [access, time, experience, physical product, performance, convenience, etc.]?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    serves them right

    i hope to see some exemplary sentences here, some serious jail time for those thieves.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    Very intelligent comment, bravo. Shows the intelligence of MM-fanboyz rather well. What a despicable horde...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re:

    "Also ancient history, V.I.N.CENT." -Harry Booth

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 3:49am

    Re: serves them right

    What thieves? The publishers? Oh, they'll get their's.

     

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  22.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Sound like there's only one solution to this problem.

    Get all of these publishers in one building, then nail the doors shut and set fire to it. Problem solved. Nobody will miss them.

     

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