Similar to what is done with film and television, Dutch national Christian party CDA says it would like to help parents protect their children against images containing violence, sex and swearing on YouTube. The Dutch system, called Kijkwijzer, is a Dutch film and television rating system that is slightly more liberal than the one many people know from the United States or Canada. However, applying it to YouTube any time soon is said to be next to impossible.
Every minute, YouTube puts up 400 hours of video. The CDA says it’s up to YouTube themselves to protect children, which seems like, as they say in Dutch, ‘yelling into the desert’. If multinationals can’t even sort out all the copyright infringements that appear on YouTube, then they won’t care about some Christians giving their opinion about it in such a small country. This discussion had already been brought up in Parliament in 2015, but now that YouTube (and in this case, Google as the owner) may have to abide by the same rules as television (I don’t know about film), then getting YouTube to comply is a step closer, but still very close to impossible.
As a parent, a member of the CDA said that his seven-year-old son looks at YouTube films and it is tough to determine if a film is suitable for him or not, which is completely understandable. Sadly for him and I bet also his spouse, they have to look over their child’s shoulder to make sure they can control what their kid watches. As well, a representative of Google Netherlands said that imposing the Dutch system is impossible and that YouTube would then come with its own system, and the entire world would have to follow whatever they come up with.
The Rijksmuseum (or Rijks Museum) in Amsterdam, home to many a Dutch master, has been partially closed to the public for renovations ever since 2003 and will be reopened on 13 April by Queen Beatrix in the last month of her reign.
Sponsor ING made this video in a shopping centre in Breda of a 17th century shop lifter being chased by the city watch. The tableau vivant at the end depicts Rembrandt van Rijn’s ‘Night Watch’, the most prominent work in the Rijksmuseum’s collection. (Rijksmusem means ‘state museum’—there are several Rijksmuseums in the Netherlands, but if there is no city name attached people assume it is the one in Amsterdam).
This video from 1953 shows an advertisement for an outdoors salt water wave pool called Bad Boekelo.
The film is called Zee op de Heide, ‘Sea on the moor’, which is ironic because Boekelo near Enschede is about as far away to the east of the North Sea as possible in the Netherlands. The video describes the wave pool from about 2 minutes in: “An ingenious construction with two mechanically moving doors creates a real surf.” The hotel was built to give the business people dealing with the nearby salt industry a place to stay, and filling the pool with the salt from nearby salterns must have been a nice gimmick.
In December 2009, after a wave of criticism from the media and beyond, Dutch copyright collection agency Buma/Stemra (B/S) decided to back off on its plans to make people pay for embedded music streams. However, today they announced that they will go ahead with their plans after all. According to B/S logic, embedding music is another form of ‘rebroadcasting’, which require licences. Buma/Stemra will start charging for music streams and video streams like YouTube, all of which will be confirmed soon. According to Tweakers, last year the projected rates for embedding videos with music were lower than embedding music streams — why, nobody knows.
They also say they won’t bug private persons, just companies. We’ll see.
BUMA/Stemra has decided not to pursue its blogger’s tax of 160 euro per 6 embedded songs for 2010. At the same time, the collecting society for composers and performing artists has closed a deal with Youtube, allowing the Google daughter to serve videos containing music to a Dutch audience.
After a storm of protest, BUMA/Stemra cancelled its tariffs for non-commercial users earlier, leaving blogs like 24 Oranges in the cold, because we run Google ads. Now Webwereld reports that commercial users will also be exempt for one year, while BUMA/Stemra tries to iron out any legal glitches. I guess that is a step forward from past practices, where the society would start lawsuits against pretty much anyone and use the resulting jurisprudence as either law, or as a springboard for further lawsuits.
Music Week reports that the new licensing agreement covers “professional or user-generated video hosted on and streamed via YouTube in the Netherlands.”
Odd, then, that I still come across notices now and again that music has been removed from a clip after complaints by somebody pretending to be a rights holder (typically one of the Big Four). Let’s see how this will pan out in 2010. My guess though: Google will be paying lots of money for nothing in return.
Meanwhile the union for musicians, Nederlandse Toonkunstenaarsbond, has urgently requested that BUMA/Stemra apologize over the heavy-handed manner in which it introduced its tax for embedded videos. Chairman Erwin Angad-Gaur fears the society’s tactics have damaged the reputations of musicians. He told VPRO’s 3 Voor 12: “Musicians are not against copyright fees, to the contrary. But we do want more flexibility.” For instance the flexibility to decide they want money for certain songs only.