The Netherlands is just like other countries in the world where downloading music and movies is extremely popular. Downloading pirated music was huge in the country because under the local law, it has long been legal. It wasn’t until 2014 when the Dutch Government’s tolerance towards the online piracy changed when the European Court of Justice ruled it. Then it resulted to quick outlawing of the illegal downloads.
But habits are hard to break, that’s why the rates of local piracy remain high. As a result, the movie industry suffered losses. Then, the Association of Professional Film Entrepreneurs (VPSO) has decided to take action earlier this year, and they held the Dutch Government responsible for their piracy losses. The film industry group also claimed about $1.34 billion as compensation for the piracy losses they suffered since 2004.
Unfortunately, the Dutch Government has no intention of paying up, and denies the responsibility for the movie piracy losses as stated in a letter they sent to VPSO. According Ard van der Steur Minister of Safety and Justice, the government has not done anything wrong. He writes, “The State does not consider itself liable for the damage VPSO allegedly suffered by VPSO. Contrary to VPSO’s claims, the Copyright Directive wasn’t applied incorrectly, so there’s no question of illegality.”
Van der Steur also adds, “In addition, there are other critical notes that can be placed alongside VPSO’s alleged claim, such as the statute of limitations, the absence of a causal relationship, as well as the height of the allegedly suffered damages.”
Film companies were told that they have many legal options to get their losses back instead of blaming the State. It was suggested that they should just pursue downloaders through civil procedures; and while the government would not take any responsibility for the losses, the Justice Minister says they are willing to discuss possible enforcement options with film representative and internet service providers.