Dutch big content sues claiming the government should protect their profits


A coalition of Dutch film and TV producers is suing the local government claiming that they are responsible for the country’s high piracy rates.

They claim the government tolerated and even encouraged unauthorised downloading for years and want the government to foot the bill.

Dutch local law traditionally allowed piracy, but in 2014 when the European Court of Justice ruled it to be unlawful. The Dutch Government quickly outlawed unauthorized downloading to conform with the law.

But Big Content said that the government did not do enough to go after pirates. The government denied these allegations, pointing out that the filmmakers could go after downloaders directly if they want to recoup their losses.

Big Content must prove that it had suffered financial loss due to piracy, which should not be too difficult, but it might be tricky to calculate the scale of the damages since a pirate download doesn’t directly translate to a lost sale.

Last year film industry group VPSO already asked for $1.27 billion in damages for piracy losses that were allegedly suffered since 2004.