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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Holland Will Ban Torrent Trackers

The Dutch government has announced its future plans, which appeared to include fighting file-sharing in cooperation with the ISPs. The draft of new legislation, scheduled to enter the Dutch Parliament by this summer, would force all broadband providers to deny access to any violating online service. In case the ISPs fail to comply, they would be demanded to pay a €10,000/day fine up to a maximum of €250,000.The money will be transferred to BREIN – the Dutch anti-piracy outfit.

Recently, a Dutch court ordered two of the country’s ISPs, ZS4ALL and Ziggo, to block access to The Pirate Bay by the 1st of February. While Ziggo is going to comply with the court’s decision, it will at the same time file an appeal. Industry observers, including consumer and privacy advocates, have already released a warning, saying that the suggested law doesn’t actually differ from the online filtering applied in China and Iran.

Aside from this, BREIN is going to file complaints against some other Dutch Internet service providers (UPC, KPN, and T-Mobile) over the same matter. The two already targeted broadband providers, plus these three, will allow BREIN to target more than 80% of the Dutch market. Although the suggested anti-piracy bill doesn’t incriminate Internet users for file-sharing (because of some home-use exception for end users), uploading unauthorized content is illegal.

By enforcing such legislation, the country’s government is hoping to point Internet users towards legitimate sources of movies, music and other kinds of digital content by simply cutting out their access to unauthorized services.

Thanks to the current anti-piracy legislation of Netherlands, which is not very strict to the infringers, the Netherlands is believed to feature a higher use of illegal websites and file-sharing services than any other European country. A research was recently carried out by the International Federation of the Phonographic. According to its result, around a quarter of European online users are involved in illegal file-sharing. At the same time, some companies in the Netherlands, such as Considerati, have their own estimations of the piracy rate, saying that is as high as 40%. Well, we’ll see what kind of law will finally survive in that country.

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