Independent Newsmakers Make Italy Think Again
Pressed by public opinion, the independent media and a large number of online journalists, reporters and independent thinkers, the Italian Government has finally decided to modify the draconic laws it had just passed that criminalized anyone caught with the evidence of downloaded copyrighted material from the Web.
The new laws had been passed in the last week without major coverage from top newspapers and network television channels. Only the people of the Web were informed enough about this to mobilize themselves and to create a drum beat of phenomenal proportions just in the arc of a few days.
United and swarming online by the thousands, the Italian "freedom fighters" brought down not the Ministry Web site responssible for issuing this law, after having done the same to SIAE, and the other major Government Web site.
In an unprecented move for its speed, Italian Government decided yesterday not to proceed with the just approved laws and to remediate with the design and approval of several major changes to them.
According to Italian Minister for Innovation and Technologies only those that disseminate "pirated" copies of such materials with commercial purposes will be incriminated and trialed. Mr Stanca also communicated through the ministry Web site that the implementation of the SIAE (authors' royalties collecting agency) royalty pick-up on multimedia consumer products (CD-mastering units, etc.) will also be drastically limited.
The penalties presently established for those who duplicates and distributes, also on the Web, pirated copies of movies and songs to "obtain a gain" from it will be applied only to those who will specifically will attempt to gain a financial gain from this.
Finally a new Commission for the redefinition of the modalities for the implementation of the new laws covering intellectual properties and author rights online will be put together (probably right after the European elections).
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