Italy Attempting To Have Copyright Enforced By Regulators, Not Courts
from the bad-ideas-at-work dept
As it stands, the proposal is currently being reviewed by the EU to see if it complies with EU directives. A ruling in favor of the AGCOM plan would have a huge negative impact on Italy, innovation and culture.
If the initiative of AGCOM goes through, it will create an important precedent in Europe, since the enforcement of copyright in the Internet is normally carried out by courts, not by administrations.The UN has already expressed its concerns about the proposal, noting that handing free expression controls to a regulatory agency, rather than an elected body, is a serious mistake, because if any content is to be removed from the internet, it should first be reviewed by a court. But the current proposal pretty much dispatches with the courts entirely in many cases, leaving the issues entirely up to regulators. Imagine if the US Copyright Office or the US Patent Office got to determine enforcement of those laws, rather than the courts. It would be a disaster for free expression and innovation -- and yet that's exactly what Italy is seeking to do.
ISPs, consumers, libertarians and experts have vigourosly contested AGCOM’s proposal because it could affect freedom of speech as well as business rights. In particular, they challenge the modality whereby the Italian regulator would supervise and tackle copyright infringements in the Internet by way of orders of removal and blocking. By contrast, rightshodlers associations as well as the Italian Collecting Society SIAE have supported the initiative.
Hopefully, the EU will reject this plan for stifling free expression and removing basic due process within the court system in Italy.