Italian 'Blog Killer' Law Rises From the Grave
from the zombie-apocalypse dept
As if Italians didn't have enough problems, it seems that their government is trying to sneak through a proposal supposedly designed to provide those who are libelled online with an automatic recourse, which activists thought they had managed to kill off five months ago. Here's the plan:
In order to protect people from online defamation, this law states that each webmaster of whatever website must rectify within 48 hours (even if you’re a private blogger who just left for the weekend!) any page on the website itself, if somebody just tells him or her (how?) that they consider themselves wronged by that page. No discussion or reply allowed, no judge needed, and the fine for not "rectifying" within 2 days is 12K Euros [about $15,000].
The newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano gives an example of just how absurd that might be in practice (original in Italian):
A site writes about an arrest; the person arrested in prison could perhaps get his lawyer to say that it is not true that he has been arrested, and the Web site would be obliged to print this correction (without comment), or face a big fine.
Although it would be nice to think that such an absurdity would be thrown out once again by the Italian politicians, that's by no means certain, not least because the ACTA technique is being employed here:
As it too often happens in Italy with similar small but surely unpopular norms, it is "hidden" as a sub-section of a wider law proposal on an unrelated issue, in this case wiretapping.
Let's hope Italian bloggers spread the word about this shabby trick -- while they still can.