Dutch Movie Industry Wants to Monitor and Warn Pirates

The Dutch movie industry has put forward a proposal for more active anti-piracy measures to be taken to curb unauthorized file-sharing. The local trade organization wants to monitor movie pirates, and have their Internet providers send them educational warning letters.

stop-blockedIn recent years the movie industry has been pushing hard for voluntary agreements aimed at targeting online piracy.

This has resulted in arrangements with Internet providers in several countries including the United States and the UK, where unauthorized file-sharers are monitored and warned.

The Dutch movie industry is now calling for a similar scheme. Traditionally the Netherlands has been one of the countries with the highest piracy rates, and without any sign of improvement the movie industry wants to take action.

“Consumers should be educated. They must understand that it’s not allowed,” says René van Turnhout, director of film distributor Dutch Filmworks and chairman of trade association NVPI Video.

The Dutch film industry is calling for a warning system modeled after the British VCAP initiative. This means that accused pirates are sent a series of warning letters, but without any punishments.

While an agreement with ISPs is still miles away Van Turnhout already has a suggestion for what the letters should look like. Aside from alerting pirates to their unauthorized behavior, the notice should include links to legal alternatives.

“We’ve found that you have tried to view films from illegal sources. Filmmakers also have to earn money to make a living. We refer you to the following legal alternatives,” is what the letter could read, according to Van Turnhout.

Just how popular movie piracy is in the Netherlands became apparent last week when Popcorn Time revealed that its application is installed on 1.3 million devices there, trailing only behind the United States but with a population of less than 17 million people.

Convincing Dutch ISPs to participate is going to be quite a challenge though. Traditionally they have been very cautious when it comes to anti-piracy measures. Earlier this year ISPs successfully appealed the local Pirate Bay blockade, which they deemed to be ineffective and in violation the their customers’ rights.

The Dutch proposal is in line with increased calls for warning systems around the globe. Among other countries, Australia is also looking into it. Last week local ISPs said there’s no evidence that these schemes are effective, but that they would be willing to consider one if the Government desires.

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