Dutch libraries launch court case over copyright issues

The lending of physical books has never been an issue for libraries, but the invention of e-books has led to a blurring of copyright technicalities. Dutch public libraries have now decided to bring the issue to court.

Conflict of interests

The Dutch Association of Public Libraries (VOB) decided to take legal action after the Minister for Education, Culture and Science refused to let e-books be lent by libraries.

The legal case was launched in The Hague last month. The VOB is going against the Stichting Leenrecht, the body responsible for collecting lending fees. 

If the verdict passes in the libraries' favour, it would lead to e-books being included in the lending-exception of the Copyright Act.

New lending for the digital age

The VOB is fighting for e-books to be available for loan under the model "one copy, one user." This scheme would allow users to download an e-book temporarily. That way, an e-book would be in their possession for the same amount of time as a physical book would be on loan.

While the Minister supported her decision by referencing the history of the Dutch Copyright Act, the VOC hopes to win judges over with their new model.

Source: Future of Copyright

Elzi Lewis


Elzi Lewis

Elzi swapped rainy Manchester for (rainier) Amsterdam a year ago, and has never looked back. Having just finished an MA at the University of Amsterdam, she is both excited and...

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