The Dutch Parliament has come to the conclusion (once again) that downloading movies and music for personal use should be considered fair use and not be punishable by law. Despite this, some in the current government have been trying to find a solution to deal with piracy problems and have pushed for a new bill to make it unlawful across the board. This has made for some interesting political theater, but it's going to be a tough fight for those that want to change things in the region. Recently opponents of such a bill won the first battle: the Dutch parliament adopted a motion to keep downloading movies and music for personal use legal.
Banning downloads would go against a free and open Internet, because it would restrict the free flow of information, they said. The motion also notes that enforcing such a ban via monitoring traffic would invade the privacy of Internet users. The parliament also strongly expressed its concerns that if downloading became unlawful, copyright holders would flood the courts with cases against individual downloaders. Besides clogging the courts with these cases, they see it causing situations similar to what is happening in other parts of the world where copyright trolls are simply suing thousands of users to make a quick buck.
Instead of banning downloads, the parliament suggested that the entertainment industry needs to focus on offering more authorized alternatives.
While the adopted motion is certainly good news for that want to keep downloading for personal use legal, State Secretary for Security and Justice Fred Teeven plans to bring the plan back in an altered form to deal with piracy concerns.