Hardware vendors sue Dutch government over copyright levies

The planned levies are way to high and disproportionate to the losses of the music and movie industries, the companies said

By Loek Essers, IDG News Service |  IT Management

"It is likely to be in conflict with the [European] Copyright Directive. It does not live up to the requirement that fair compensation be based on assessment of harm of private copying, and it seems to include compensation for illegal copies," they said. Furthermore, the system lacks a workable system for exempting products sold to professional users, and there are several points of uncertainty and ambiguity in the decision that would make it extremely difficult and costly to implement in practical terms, they added.

In the letter, the companies had said some of them were seeking legal advice, but also said that they were "keen to work with" Teeven and his staff to find constructive solutions and urged him to reconsider the decision and at a minimum to postpone the implementation.

"The ultimate objective should be the abolition of media/device-based levies systems, both in the Netherlands and in other European countries," they said, adding that it is not only in the Netherlands that levies on ICT products cause difficulties.

The Ministry of Security and Justice could not be immediately reached for comment on the lawsuit.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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