Dutch court gives rightsholder group unchecked power to block IPs and domains in the Netherlands

Niels sez, "Yesterday, the Court of The Hague ordered Dutch ISPs XS4ALL and Ziggo to block access to 3 IPs and 24 domains of The Pirate Bay. On top of that, it granted the entertainment industry's lobby organisation BREIN the power to order extra addresses to be added the blacklist, without having to go to court and without any further checks. XS4ALL, founded in 1993 by a group of Amsterdam based hackers and still advocate for online civil rights, is shocked by the ruling because it violates the freedom of information, which suggests that the judge finds the commercial interests of the entertainment industry to be more important than the civil liberties of the citizens of The Netherlands. Naturally, XS4ALL will appeal the ruling."


  1. I’m so amazed by this. Because generally the Dutch people (myself included) are so keen on freedom of speech, etc. etc. The Dutch courts usually are very scrutinizing in the way they interpret information and many criminals get low sentences due to a lack of information or lack of convincing information, yet when it comes to this case, the verdict came very quick and makes me wonder how informed this judge is about law and technology. I mean it seems odd that a judge can get to such a quick judgement, with so many specialists still so unsure about many subjects within copyright law and technology laws. 

    1. There is also the ‘mercantile rectitude’ side to the Dutch character – theirs was an empire founded fundamentally on trade.

    1. Our nation doesn’t have a single mentality. People are quite divided over many things. Though generally not on this particular issue. I expect an appeal.

    2. I wouldn’t either. I’ve been over there quite a bit in my lifetime and, call me sentimental, but it’s my favourite country and they’re my favourite europeans and speak one of my favourite languages :)

  2. Sounds identical to this October ruling by a district court in Helsinki, Finland: https://torrentfreak.com/finnish-isp-ordered-to-block-the-pirate-bay-111026/

    The ISP initially resisted the order but gave in this week. The blacklist was drafted not by the court but by the plaintiff, an entertainment lobby group. It included at least two domains that had nothing to do with piracy – one of them merely redirected to the Electronic Frontier Finland website. (Those domains seem to have been unblocked now.)

  3. Even if one does subscribe to the loathsome copyright-maximalist position that ‘intellectual property’ is the highest value worth preserving, this ruling still seems rather insane…

    Umbrella lobby groups generally represent the major players in a given industry, and possibly a majority of the minor ones, as well; but not all of them. If one has the power to blacklist domains arbitrarily without any sort of process, why not those of competitors? Companies who haven’t been suitably enthusiastic about joining your lobby group? Companies that produce goods that compete for customer dollars with yours(ie. not direct competitors, as in Movie A vs. Movie B; but Movie Studio A trying to shut out Record Company A because young adult disposable income spent on music is not spent on movies).

    Inherent in this sort of decision is not only a massive bias toward copyright maximalism; but an assumption(so overwhelming it might even be invisible to the writer of the decision) that ‘intellectual property’ is something that only certain kinds of people and organizations are actually entitled to. ‘Real’, commercial, respectable, ‘content creators’, of course. Little people? Not so much.

    That is what makes this sort of thing doubly loathsome: copyright maximalism ensures that the law is such that everything down to the coffee ring you left on the table this morning is automatically Protected Forever; but the actual legal muscle is reserved only for the copyrights held by the same old incumbents, who are themselves at basically no risk of any serious penalties, even when shown to have violated the copyrights of others…

  4. Excuse me, but your post is misleading: the ruling does not grant “the entertainment industry’s lobby organisation BREIN the power to order extra addresses to be added the blacklist, without having to go to court and without any further checks.” It only allows BREIN to add additional Pirate Bay domains and IP addresses.  For any other domains, BREIN has to go to court, again.

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