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  • Laurens Kasteleijn

Copyright Law changes in the Netherlands

As of June 7th 2021 new copyright rules are in effect[1], complementing existing European rules aimed at reducing the differences between EU countries.


The new Copyright law (Auteurswet) shall also be better adapted to the growing digital use of protected material. The new rules consist of 3 parts:


1) New cases in which copyright-protected material may be used without prior permission from the rights holder


Text and data mining (“TDM”)

TDM is the automated search of text and databases to discover important (new) patterns, trends and connections. Many texts and data are copyrighted. Therefore rights holders had to give permission for TDM. This will soon no longer be necessary.


Digital education

For the use of copyright-protected material in the classroom and in closed networks to which only teachers and students have access, it will no longer be necessary to request permission from the rights holder.


Cultural heritage institutions

Cultural heritage institutions, such as libraries, museums and archives, are already permitted to digitize everything they have on paper without first asking permission from the rights holders. The new rules also allow them to make it available online.


2) Measures to achieve a well-functioning market for protected content


Extra protection for press publishers

From now on, material from press publications, for example newspaper articles, may not simply be used on, for example, news services. The user must have permission to do so and must pay for this permission. This new protection comes on top of copyright. It lasts for 1 year after the material has been made public. The protection does not apply to very small pieces or hyperlinks.


Providers of online services for sharing content, such as YouTube, are considered to be publishers of user uploads

This means that from now on they will need permission from rights holders to show the content. They will have to do their best to get that permission. For this they will also have to pay a price in the form of remitting part of their advertising revenue. If permission does not come, providers of online content-sharing services will have to start filtering users' uploads for infringing content in consultation with rights holders and remove it if necessary. This filtering is expensive. This is why lighter filtering requirements apply to start-up platforms. Also, filtering does not always work accurately; for example, if software cannot properly assess whether the uploading of that content falls under the parody exception or the right to quote. To reduce the risk of over-blocking, providers of online services should provide a complaint and appeal procedure to which users can turn.


Reintroduce the possibility of giving publishers, in addition to creators, the right to remuneration as in the case of photocopying and private copying

This was customary in the past, but had been made impossible by a ruling of the European Court of Justice. At the market’ request, the possibility is now being reintroduced.


3) Regulations to give creators a better bargaining position

Transparency obligation

Creators often transfer their rights to another party or license their rights. The aim is for the third party to exploit their performance among the public. In the Netherlands there were already regulations in place to protect the creator. New is the transparency obligation, meaning that an operator who enters into a contract with a creator must provide the creator with information about the exploitation, such as the forms of exploitation, the income and the fee to be paid.


Do you want to learn more about copyright laws in the Netherlands?

Contacts us at: info@artlawservices.com


[1] https://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0001886/2021-06-07

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