One of the most hotly contested aspects of film, tv and games piracy, is whether it leads to a drop in sales or not. Some argue that those that downloaded would have bought it if there was no illegal source, whilst others suggest that the reason they pirate rather than buying is for some other reason: because it’s free, more easily accessible, has more options or simply don’t want to support the company that made it.
Filmmakers often take the former tack however and in The Netherlands specifically, they’re now holding the government at least partially responsible for their films being pirated, suggesting that it has done far too little to combat the problem. Now they want compensation.
Much like Australia, The Netherlands is considered one of the world’s hotspots for piracy, with around a third of the population said to have pirated content at some point. This is largely due to the country’s strong internet connections (it’s currently ranked fourth in the world for average high-speed internet) as well as its lack of teeth when it comes to piracy. It was only made illegal to download content without permission last year, as per TorrentFreak.
However Dutch filmmaking group, SEKAM believes the stance on piracy was too lax for too long, so it has submitted its claim to the Ministry of Security and Justice, demanding payment in compensation. It is now looking to come up with an estimate of the money lost to the Dutch film industry through piracy, though one recent suggestion from a Considerati study pins it at nearly 80 million euros per year.
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KitGuru Says: Although some money may be lost through piracy, legitimate, affordable, easy to access services have a much bigger impact than any form of enforcement.