Dutch film producers and distributors are demanding compensation of €1.2bn from the Dutch state for what they say is its failure to stop illegal downloading.
In a letter to junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff, the producers argue that the government has allowed illegal copying of films, the NRC said on Friday. ‘This has given an entire generation of consumers the idea that it is okay to watch a film without paying,’ the letter states.
The cabinet made it illegal to download films and music in April 2014, following a European court ruling. This, the producers say, means that the Dutch were acting unlawfully for almost 10 years prior to that, resulting in the damages claim.
In addition to compensation, the film producers and distributors want the government to introduce tough measures to combat piracy. Consumers should also be made aware that it is illegal to download films and make a copy.
The film makers say they want a meeting with the minister within two weeks or they will go to court.
‘Everyone accepts the fact you deserve punishment if you steal bread at the bakers but they don’t see it that way when it comes to downloading a film illegally,’ Klaas de Jong of the film makers association Vereniging van Speelfilm Ondernemers said.
Research group Telecompaper said on Friday some 35% of the Dutch have illegally downloaded a game, film or television series at some point and 16% use peer to peer technology to do so.
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