Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dutch snippets of the week

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Dutch piracy watchdog demand client details

Brein, the Dutch piracy watchdog has started a case against large Internet providers with the demand to hand over details of 41 clients who download illegally. Planet Internet, Chello, Wanadoo, Tiscali refuse to make known the details. Warner Home Video Benelux, which is part in the legal case, has told the court that it will refuse movie rights to the companies that are unwilling to hand over details of clients who download illegally. The collecting society BUMA/STEMRA characterised the behaviour of the internet providers as unethical.

Cable operators offer mobile

Dutch cable operators are going for quarter play: television, internet, telephone and mobile telephone. The cable operators are talking to Telfort amongst other, a telco which grew 41 per cent in the last half year.

Obituary changes to message on life

It looks like obituaries have had their longest time, if we believe the site operator of message on life. The name and the few sentences will be replaced by an extensive message on the life of the beloved ones. The Dutch site offers a website to the next of kin to commemorate the deceased one extensively. The website will stay on line for a year and costs 65 euro, a fraction of a printed obituary in the newspaper.

Wifi in the train stations

The Dutch railway company NS has started to introduce wifi on the stations in the big cities in co-operation with telco KPN. Clients with laptops, but also PDAs are offered wireless internet. The client gets a scratch card. For 1.30 euro a traveller can use wireless internet for a quarter of an hour. The NS wants also to offer wireless internet in the trains.

Versatel stops talks with Belgacom

The Dutch entertelco Versatel has stopped merger talks with Belgacom. No reason for the talks were given, but the valuation of especially Versatel seems to have been a stumbling block. It is not the first time that talks with Belgacom are stopped. Years ago the Dutch incumbent KPN also stopped talks on the valuation issue. Belgacom is still a semi-official telco, which has not lost much money on UMTS. Also culture issues are in play between the Dutch and Belgians. The major shareholder in Versatel (42 per cent), the Talpa company is still talking to Belgacom.

Talpa goes digital

Talpa, the new Dutch broadcasting company of John de Mol, delivers its broadcasts completely digital. The new channel, which starts on August 12, will not use video taped programs. Talpa is the first broadcast company in The Netherlands to deliver digitally.

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