In 2003, Silvio Berlusconi’s government passed some of the most aggressive copyright laws in Europe, but ultimately the authorities didn’t give them the support demanded by the entertainment industries. Then in January 2007, Rome’s top criminal court announced that downloading films, music or software from the Internet should not be considered a crime if done for no profit, backing the likes of the IFPI and MPAA into a corner with fewer options.
Today, in 2009, the situation is moving quickly. In common with situations in many countries around the world, the entertainment industries have all but given up chasing down individual file-sharers, declaring that their new focus will be on ISPs, who they will pressure to clamp down on pirates on their behalf.
In October 2008 a technical roundtable got underway in Italy which promoted collaboration between the music, movie and ISPs. In basic terms, in part it was a discussion about the mechanics of implementing a ‘3 strikes’ or ‘graduated response’ to deal with piracy on P2P networks.
France has one of the toughest approaches to the ‘problem’ in Europe, so it will be of concern to many Italian citizens that their country appears to be taking the lead from Sarkozy’s vision of copyright enforcement.
According to a THR report, yesterday Italy’s Ministry of Culture signed an agreement with French officials to cooperate on anti-piracy issues. Furthermore, in an indication of how Italy sees its legislation progressing in the future, Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi said that Italian laws will “follow the French model” in providing strict protection and controls for copyright works.
As we previously reported, plans for a “3 strikes” regime had already been touted in Italy by the movie industry during meetings in Venice, with the MPAA’s President Robert Pisano stating: “Maybe the first couple of times they get a warning e-mail, then perhaps the speed on their account is reduced, and if they keep doing it then maybe their account is closed.”
With this announcement that Italy will follow the ‘French model’ and Sandro Bondi previously going on record saying that the fight against piracy is a priority for the government, it looks like the entertainment industries are getting closer to their aims, not just in Italy but in countries around Europe, and others across the world.