Italian law about file-sharing
Date 2004/5/27 20:36:21 | Topic: XOOPS
|The "download" section is temporarily unavailable against the ridicolous "Urbani law"|
The driver is still maintained, of course. News about it will be published here as usual. If you want the package, just send an email to me at the address indicated at the end of the article below (click on "read more").
Taken from http://xoomer.virgilio.it/enrico.nic/ :
"May 17th 2004
The Italian Senate is going to vote, on May 18th 2004, a new law regarding the transmission (posting, uploading, downloading) of files via Internet. The law was conceived by the Minister for the Culture, Mr. Giuliano Urbani, to fight Internet piracy, but many dark sides of this forthcoming law have been pointed out by attorneys and a few politicians. According to this new law, any file that is the product of human creativity must include, embedded in it, a not-well-specified "digital fingerprint". Probably, such a fingerprint will need the authorization of an Italian Authority (SIAE) and one will have to pay for it. Anybody posting, uploading, or downloading a file without that fingerprint can be punished with jail from 6 months up to 4 years.
Let us think of the consequences of such a law. The exchange of files - such as demos, free and open-source software, self-produced music, scientific preprint papers, etc. - will be not allowed by Italian law and will be punished with jail. Someone argues that even posting a plain website will be against this law, as a website is the product of human creativity, isn't it? Obviously, non-Italian producers of freeware and music will not care of embedding an Italian fingerprint in their files. This means a total isolation of Italian Internet users with respect to the other countries. This law will lead to severe restrictions of communication freedom. As a paradox, I could be punished with jail just because I've downloaded a Windows upgrade, which does not have the Italian fingerprint embedded in it.
Many Italian Internet users are collaborating with Senator Fiorello Cortiana (and many other people) to fight against the approval of this law. Senator Fiorello Cortiana is going to apply obstructionism against the approval of the law with 750 amendements - many of which have been written by Internet users. Within a few days we should know something more - if the law has been approved or not, and if any modification is foreseen within a short time in order to correct the absurd implications of the law. In the meanwhile, I've temporarily obscured my website, which contained also some self-made recordings of me playing my violin. This is sad, but according to the new law I could be jailed for posting them in Internet.
For the interested people, here you can find a voucher (in Italian) that will be distributed in front of the Italian Parliament on the votation day. It describes what is going to happen with the new law.
UPDATE: May 20th 2004
The law has passed. To convince Senator Cortiana to not apply obstructionism (and also because of the absurd implications of the law that would be probably censored by EU), the Minister for the Culture, Mr. Giuliano Urbani, has officially declared that a new law will be urgently written and approved to correct the contested points: (1) the jail punishment will be replaced with an administrative fee if the copyrighted files are uploaded/downloaded for personal use only; (2) the "digital fingerprint" will be eliminated; (3) the additional taxes on CD-writers, CD-writing software, and hard-disks will be eliminated. Senator Cortiana trusted the Minister, so that no obstructionism was applied and the law has been approved. Therefore, now we are in a transition period with the jail persecution and digital fingerprint working (since the law is officially published). That's why my website is still obscured.
UPDATE: May 23rd 2004
The Urbani Law is effective since today. Here is the link to the law modifications (including the introduction of jail punishment) as officially published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (in Italian). My website will stay obscured until a new corrective law will be introduced, as promised by Minister Urbani.