Italy prepares 'one strike' anti-piracy law

ISPs would be required to make changes aimed to stopping copyright, trademark and patent infringements

The Italian government is preparing an anti-piracy law that could ban Internet users from access after one alleged infringement, a lawyer and an analyst warned.

ISPs would be required to use filters against services that infringe copyright, trademark or patents under terms of the draft law. The proposed changes to Italy's e-commerce directive were drafted in July by members of parliament belonging to the Il Popolo della Libertà (PdL) party of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. After analyzing the proposed amendments, Paolo Brini, spokesperson for ScambioEtico, a grassroots movement committed to copyright reform, concluded the Italian government is in fact proposing a "one strike" out Internet law.

Citizens could be disconnected from the Internet if a provider is notified of an alleged copyright, trademark or patent infringement on the Web, Brini said. ISPs would have to blacklist citizens who are only suspected of infringements and providers might be compelled to install filters to sniff out copyright, trademark or patent abuse, he said. Furthermore, ISPs that do not comply with the filter requirement could be held liable under civil laws.

"Some parts of the draft law are clearly not applicable in real life, while others have the power to crumble ISPs and hosting e-commerce," Brini said in a written analysis published on Monday. "It is very interesting to note that this draft law is compliant to one of the older versions of ACTA, the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement."

It remains to be seen how the technical implementation of the law would be performed. "I firmly think that this is a 'green light' toward one-strike disconnections for any kind of infringement, not 'only' disconnections for industrial property rights infringements," he said in an response to emailed questions.

ICT lawyer Fulvio Sarazana, owner of the law firm Studio Legale Sarzana & Associati and author of the book 'Legal Aspects of Internet Commerce,' drew the same conclusions as Brini. He called the proposal "Resolution Killer Internet," because the text under consideration cancels any judiciary steps in the field of copyright infringement on the Web. If the proposed measure is approved, providers would be considered civilly and criminally responsible for infringements. The bill would also transform ordinary citizens into organs of the police, he said in a blog post.

Both Brini and Sarazana emphasized that the law-making process is progressing rapidly in this instance. "This time the law has had an unusual fast track," Brini said. "Unusual for Italy and for a law drafted not by the government, but by some MPs of the majority party."

Currently, the draft is with a parliamentary committee for the first check. While Brini noted that it's possible the bill will go nowhere because it's not uncommon "that an unconstitutional law gets stuck or frozen for years in the parliamentary committee to be eventually forgotten with the next government," there is no guarantee that will happen this time.

Elena Centemero, the member of parliament who spearheaded the draft law, did not respond to emailed questions.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intellectual propertylegal

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?