Proposal In Italy Would Require Gov't Authorization To Upload Any Video

from the media-controls dept

Over the last few years we've noticed a troubling trend for Italian politicians to push absolutely ridiculous anti-internet policies. Some have claimed that much of this comes from the fact that current Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi owns a lot of the mainstream media outlets in the country, and the lack of control over the internet bothers him and his party -- which could explain why they use almost any opportunity to lash out at the internet. To make matters worse, there seems to be particular confusion over things like YouTube, leading to the ongoing lawsuit that could sentence Google execs to jailtime for not removing a video fast enough (Google took the video down within a couple hours of being alerted to it). Then there's the politician who tried to file lawsuits against thousands of YouTube commenters.

So perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that politicians in Italy are proposing that all web video in the country must first be authorized by the Communications Ministry (found via Slashdot). Officially, Italian officials say that they're just implementing an EU directive on how to deal with product placement, but others note that this clearly goes way beyond that, with many seeing Berlusconi trying to stomp out online video competition to his media holdings.

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  • icon
    Hulser (profile), 18 Jan 2010 @ 12:15pm

    "Welcome to the Italian Communications Ministry. Your wait time is...10 years, 211 days, 15 hours, and 27 minutes."

    Part of me feels pity for the Italian people who are led by an administration that would even consider this as a good idea. But there's another part that says, fine. Implement your insane restrictions and see what happens. At best Itally will just remove itself from the global conversation. At worst, the people will finally push back, having had enough. Maybe it would be a good example to the world of government censorship run amok.

    (BTW, I picture there being one person at this Communications Ministry dedicated to approving new videos. He'd look like Sam Lowry, the main character from Brazil who had to fight for his share of half a desk.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), 18 Jan 2010 @ 12:25pm

      Re: "Welcome to the Italian Communications Ministry. Your wait time is...10 years, 211 days, 15 hours, and 27 minutes."

      Mafia (which means "our thing") originated in Italy.
      Perhaps government incompetence like this was the reason...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Dark Helmet (profile), 18 Jan 2010 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re: "Welcome to the Italian Communications Ministry. Your wait time is...10 years, 211 days, 15 hours, and 27 minutes."

        "Mafia (which means "our thing") originated in Italy."

        As did Fascism. This is closer to that than Mafia....

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Brooks (profile), 18 Jan 2010 @ 12:29pm

    Maybe it's good news?

    Maybe there's a silver lining here. Most industries undergo consolidation, and as they scale up the barriers to entry get higher and higher.

    Maybe, just maybe, the pastiche of stupid/crazy laws relating to the Internet will serve to foster more churn in the industry, and therefore more innovation.

    Let's say this law passes in Italy, so YouTube essentially becomes a vehicle for corporate communications in that country and end users basically can't use it. What's going to happen? Those users are going to move to a competing service that's too small to attract regulators' notice, or to have operations in the country.

    Clearly, this is a terrible and stupid idea. But maybe there's a fringe benefit to all of the terrible and stupid ideas flying around out there. The RIAA's reaction to Napster gave us Bittorrent, after all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Charlie Potatoes (profile), 18 Jan 2010 @ 1:00pm

    You are all missing the big picture ...

    The question is: "Do the trains run on time?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jimr (profile), 18 Jan 2010 @ 1:34pm

    Major conflict of interest when the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi owns a lot of the mainstream media outlets in the country and proposes that HIS government will control internet content via the Communications Ministry.

    What is next - no email or text or twitter will be allowed until it has past the Communications Ministry first?

    At least in the US you just expect that all your communication and videos online is at least watch over by big brother - just in case you had any terrorist thoughts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stuart, 18 Jan 2010 @ 1:36pm

    I come from the US. A place where every politician is only listening to their own brand of special interests that give them money for elections. Even I (though having a good understanding of how bad my own countries political situation is)think that the Italians should be shamed for Silvio Berlusconi. Seriously. Why have they not shot him yet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 18 Jan 2010 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      "Seriously. Why have they not shot him yet?"

      Have you ever tried to aim a weapon with a mouthful of the best marinara sauce you've ever tasted? It ain't easy....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        interval, 18 Jan 2010 @ 3:59pm

        Re: Re:

        I heard there was a serious piano wire shortage in Italy, making their favorite political past time a little trickier than usual lately.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    interval, 18 Jan 2010 @ 3:57pm

    "Vinton Cerf sleeps with the fishes."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Brian (profile), 18 Jan 2010 @ 4:01pm

    Retaliation

    I kind of feel pity for the people who have to approve these videos if the measures to pass and become law and what not. I mean I give it a week before they are flooded with goatse and other disturbing and disgusting videos.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jack meoff, 19 Jan 2010 @ 12:49am

    vatican control of uploaded videos to internet

    the pope can suck the snotty end,the catholic church is a scam

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      mike allen (profile), 19 Jan 2010 @ 1:19am

      Re: vatican control of uploaded videos to internet

      since when was the vatican part of Italy it is a seperate country within italy not under Italian law Hey way round it upload from the vatican they cant touch you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Idobek (profile), 19 Jan 2010 @ 5:56am

    Don't count on opposition

    It is possible that this law is being pushed because of Berlusconi's media interests but don't for a minute think that opposition politicians don't like the idea. Their only objection would arise from Berlusconi's possible benefit, not to the state control and bureaucracy involved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cathy, 20 Jan 2010 @ 11:52am

    Local Italian coverage/text of law

    I asked an Italian-speaking friend to look for local Italian coverage. She couldn't find any. This alarming absence may be a story itself.

    But she did seem to find the proposed law. (Unfortunately I can't read Italian.)

    http://www.camera.it/_dati/leg16/lavori/AttiDelGoverno/pdf/0169.pdf.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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