Dutch Court Says That Copyright Owners Are Better Off When People Are Downloading From Unauthorized Sources
from the say-that-again dept
Here’s a bit of a surprise. According to this report, beyond just the FTD ruling we wrote about last week, there was another copyright case decision in the Dutch appeals court of The Hague, which stated that “since downloading from illegal sources for private use was permitted under Dutch law,” it’s actually to the advantage of copyright owners that such sites exist.
Of course, part of the reasoning for this is that there’s a private copying levy, and the court was arguing that unauthorized downloads should be taken into account when calculating that levy. So, this could mean higher subsidies and “you must be a criminal” taxes in the Netherlands. Still, the argument is somewhat striking:
With reference to statements made by the Minister of Justice, the Court argued that the legitimate interest of the right holders is more adequately protected in a regime that allows downloading from illegal sources. In view of the Dutch government’s statements, such a levy system better ensures that compensation is due to right holders for the use of their work.
I’m not convinced that’s actually true, but it’s still quite surprising to hear a court say it like that. I would imagine entertainment industry lobbyists are banging down Dutch doors right now…