Dutch government wants penalties for P2P downloads

The Netherlands currently allows private users to download copyrighted songs and movies without penalty, so long as they are for personal use; uploading, however, counts as “distribution” and comes with penalties. This approach is unusual in Europe, and today the Dutch government announced plans to change course. Downloading unauthorized music and movies would become illegal under the new plan, but in return, citizens get some new benefits: no more levies on MP3 players and blank CDs, a new “fair use” right,” and a pledge that the government won’t pursue “criminalization” of end users.The government plan was announced by Fred Teeven, the Justice and Security minister. Teeven noted that “downloading has long been illegal for games and other software, and this will now also apply to movies and music.”

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