Dutch MPs vote not to ban illegal downloads

Dec 21, 2012

Dutch MPs have voted not to ban illegal Internet downloads of copyrighted films, music and software, preferring to levy a tax on smartphones and computers.

"The motion calling on the government to renounce banning illegal downloads was passed," on Thursday evening, lower house spokesman Leon van Schie told AFP on Friday.

Instead, copyright holder losses will be compensated for with a "home copy" tax on new electronic products including smartphones, computers, hard drives and tablets.

The tax to be introduced on January 1 will range from five euros (almost seven dollars) for a computer to one euro for a hard drive.

"We're pleased with the vote on broadening the 'copy tax', Tim Kuik of the Brein foundation that defends copyright owners in the Netherlands told AFP.

He declined to comment on the refusal to ban illegal downloading.

In theory the government could still decide to push ahead with plans to ban illegal downloading but "that would go against what the majority in parliament, which would create a problem for the government," Van Schie said.

"The lower house has chosen vital copyright modernisation within the limits of everyone's freedom on the Internet," the motion's author, MP Kees Verhoeven, was quoted as saying by NOS.

"Banning downloading doesn't really resolve the problem of and raises problems concerning the privacy of individual users," he said.

National authorities around the world and have struggled with how to deal with illegal downloads, often made using the BitTorrent protocol over websites such as The .

France's controversial Hadopi law introduced in 2009 provides for fines and eventually a cutting off of the Internet connection for illegal , sparking the ire of rights groups.

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chromosome2
not rated yet Dec 24, 2012
I don't think it's possible for this money to be divided up properly. I fear it's going to go entirely to the MaFIA, and that's not acceptable. As an American, I think the separation of corporation and state is just as important as the separation of church and state, and when a business is writing your laws, choosing your politicians, engaging in legal and financial terrorism with life-destroying "punitive damages" and levying your taxes, you've got some honest to god traitors to deal with. I truly hope we didn't free ourselves from the British occupation just to become the recording industry's bitch.