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<nettime> P2p italian felony
Beppe Caravita on Tue, 11 May 2004 01:18:22 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> P2p italian felony

        Italy: File-sharing to Become a Felony

The Italian Government adopted, on March 22nd, an urgent act to award 
the Italian movie industry the usual financial aids. The act also 
included a disposition for the copyright enforcement with regard to 
on-line file-sharing of movies. The disposition increased the 
administrative pecuniary sanction, for illegal downloading and uploading 
of files containing protected material, from 154 euro to 1500 euro.

An urgent act of the Government must be converted, within 60 days, into 
a Parliamentary act, otherwise the original act will become null and 
void. The process of conversion, as it's called, requires both the lower 
House and the Senate to adopt the same text. The act of the Government 
can be amended during the process.

On April 22nd the lower House (Camera dei Deputati) adopted the act with 
small, but far-reaching, modifications. Particularly, changing the 
wording of a provision of the Italian Copyright Act (L. 633/1941), the 
Parliament decided illegal file-sharing to be a felony that can be 
sentenced up to 4 years of prison.
Previously, for an illegal reproduction of copyright material to be a 
felony, the commercial purpose of the wrong doer was required. The 
amended provision requires the wrong doer to gain profit from her act. 
According to Italian case law, profit has a very broad meaning, 
including the savings for not buying a product.

The legislative history of the bill of conversion shows that the 
modification was adopted because, after removing the administrative 
sanctions originally intended to protect the movie industry only, a 
compensation to both the recording industry, previously not included, 
and the motion picture industry was deemed necessary by the Members of 
The day after the adoption of the amendment everyone declared that the 
original intent was to lessen the sanctions, and changing the commercial 
requirement with the broader notion of profit was actually a mistake.

The administrative sanctions are thus gone, replaced by strong criminal 
penalties. File-sharers, even if not directly or indirectly involved in 
the commercialization of copyrighted materials, will receive the very 
same treatment previously reserved to persons engaged in illegal 
reproduction of protected materials at a commercial level.

The next step of the process of conversion requires the Senate to adopt 
the bill discussed and amended by the lower House. Since the urgent act 
will become null and void if not converted before May 22nd, the Senate 
cannot correct the "mistake", otherwise the lower House should have to 
discuss and adopt the bill once again.
A commission of the Senate thus approved a motion that asks the 
Government to adopt a new urgent act to modify the previous amended one.
In the meantime the entertainment industry is quite happy with the new 
wording of the Italian Copyright Act and not that eager to change it.

AndreaRossato <http://www.istitutocolli.org/wiki/AndreaRossato>

Copyright (C) 2004 AndreaRossato 
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted 
worldwide without royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.



via Beppe Caravita....

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