Recently a committee of the Dutch Parliament published a report on copyright legislation in which it made several false accusations against the Dutch-based BitTorrent site Mininova. The Mininova team were insulted by the report and demanded a public rectification, which the parliament has now refused. Mininova is now considering legal action.
In an advisory report to the Dutch Government, a committee consisting of four members of the Parliament looked into the ever-increasing online piracy rate and how this should be dealt with in the future.
The committee concluded that downloading should be criminalized once the entertainment industry has come up with sufficient legal alternatives. Worryingly, the report also included some factual errors about Mininova that could potentially hurt the BitTorrent site in its ongoing court case against the local anti-piracy outfit BREIN.
Among other things, the parliamentarians wrote that in common with The Pirate Bay, Mininova doesn’t allow copyright holders to remove torrents from the site upon request. In fact, Mininova has a full notice and take down system. In response to these and other statements, Mininova demanded a public rectification from the Dutch parliament.
“We demand that the spreading of false information related to Mininova will be stopped. In addition, we demand that the working group removes the name Mininova from the report and places a rectification on the website of the Dutch parliament and in several national newspapers,” Mininova co-founder Erik Dubbelboer said.
“We take this very seriously,” Erik Dubbelboer said. “If these demands are not met, we’ll consider to take legal steps,” he added, in order to emphasize that their demands should not be taken lightly.
Legal threats or not, the committee announced today that it does not intend to rectify their earlier statements, even though they admit to having made a mistake.
The committee of the Dutch Parliament has, however, changed the original report based on (some of) Mininova’s complaints. Initially it stated that the torrent site had no “notice and takedown” policy to handle the complaints of copyright holders, but this has been corrected in an updated version.
In the updated version of the report the committee also added that Mininova’s “notice and takedown” system is not sufficient, even though it follows European law. Arda Gerkens, the head of the parliamentary committee said that Mininova’s copyright policy is not very efficient, since Mininova demands that rights holders send the full urls of the torrents they’d like to see removed.
This minor correction is of course far from what Mininova had demanded and they are not satisfied with the committee’s handling of their complaint. Mininova is currently discussing with their lawyers if and what legal action they are going to take against the Dutch Government.