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New Copyright Contract Law in The Netherlands

There will be important changes to copyright contract law in The Netherlands.

On 12 February 2015 the Dutch House of Representatives adopted Copyright Contract Bill (no. 33 308). It is expected that the Dutch Senate will adopt the bill in the spring of 2015 and that the changes to copyright contract law will enter into force on 1 July 2015.

A translation of the ful text of the new Dutch Copyright Contract Act is attached.

These are the ten most important changes:

  1. Assignment and  the grant of an exclusive licence may only be effected by means of a deed executed for that purpose.
  2. Every author and performing artist will be entitled to fair compensation for granting a right of exploitation.
  3. The amount of fair compensation may be determined by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, but only at the joint request of an association of authors or performers and an exploiter or an association of exploiters.
  4. An author and performing artist may claim additional fair compensation if the agreed compensation is seriously disproportionate to the proceeds from the exploitation of the work.
  5. An author and performing artist may dissolve the contract if the other party to the contract does not sufficiently exploit the copyright to the work within a reasonable period.
  6. A clause that is unreasonably onerous for the maker will be voidable.
  7. The author of a short scientific work, the research for which has been paid for in whole or in part by Dutch public funds, shall be entitled to make that work available in Open Access following a reasonable period of time after the work was first published.
  8. The author or performing artist may not waive these provisions.
  9. Regardless of the law that governs the contract, these provisions shall apply if: a. the contract would have been governed by Dutch law when no applicable law had been chosen, or b. the acts of exploitation take place or should take place wholly or predominantly in the Netherlands.
  10. The principal director, the screenplay writer and the lead actors of a film have a right to  proportional fair compensation for any broadcasting, cable distribution or other communication to the public, with the exception of making the film work available in such a manner that the film work is accessible to the members of the public in a place individually chosen by them (video-on-demand). This right to  proportional fair compensation can only be exercised by a collecting society. An association of Dutch exploiters and an association of Dutch collecting societies have reached an agreement to the effect that proportional fair compensation for video-on-demand of Dutch repertoire will be managed by collecting societies on a voluntary basis.