TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Dutch Site Linking to MP-3 Files Loses Court Case

Dutch Site Linking to MP-3 Files Loses Court Case

Reuters News Wire (
Mon, 19 Jun 2006 13:31:59 -0500

A Dutch music website which links to MP3 files had to stop promoting
the infringement of artist rights and copyrights, the Dutch court of
appeal said in a ruling that overturned an earlier one in favor of the

The website , operated by Techno Design, had been
taken down on Monday after the ruling on Friday which said that
failure to comply with the injunction would lead to fines of 10,000
euros ($12,590) per day, or 1,000 euros per infringing file.

Techno Design will also have to pay damages, with the amount to be
determined at a later stage.

Making mp3 files available on the internet is illegal under Dutch law,
where it is done without the permission of the copyright owner.

A warning to users on not to infringe copyright did
not excuse Techno Design from liability. "Such a warning ignores the
reality that the lion's share of visitors are looking for unauthorized
MP3 files," the court said.

"There has been concern that Holland could become a center of Internet
piracy, but this decision shows that the Dutch courts will not
tolerate websites building a business out of facilitating copyright
infringement," said General Counsel Geoff Taylor of the International
Federation of Phonogram and Videogram Producers (IFPI).

Other deep link websites have been found to be illegal in Australia and China (Baidu), according to IFPI.

The case was brought to the appeals court by BREIN, a Dutch
anti-piracy organization, after an earlier ruling in favor of the
website at the Haarlem court in 2004.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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