Italy: Senate unanimously passes anti-piracy bill; to become law after final formalities

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Italy’s Senate passed legislation that empowers the country’s media bureau to block piracy of live broadcasts within 30 minutes of detection, and administrative penalties against pirates; which had already been voted upon by the Chamber of Deputies in March.

The measure, called ‘Provisions for the prevention and repression of the illicit dissemination of content protected by copyright through electronic communication networks,’ was approved in second reading and without modification.

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In addition, AGCOM can call upon the support of Italy’s National Cybersecurity Agency to enhance the action of monitoring, detection and repression of the online criminal phenomenon, including IPTV, pirated sites and applications. The bill also classifies camcording as a crime like other forms of piracy.

Penalties with teeth

Criminal penalties proposed in the draft law include detention for a minimum of six months, ranging up to a three year maximum; a fine of up to €15,493.  In addition, there would be an administration penalty ranging from €10,000 to an amount equivalent to 2% of the revenue made in the most recent fiscal year before the offense.

Next steps

The text must be countersigned by the Head of State, subsequently published in the Official Gazette and, after fifteen days, will go into effect as law.  At that point, through the issuance of a Regulation by AGCOM, it will be possible to fully implement it.

According to a study released by FAPAV in June, piracy of live sports programming in 2022 was up by 26% over 2021, followed by TV programs, up 20%, and series/fiction, which was up 15%.

Further reading

Bagnoli Rossi, FAPAV: “With the final approval of the DDL Mollicone-Maccanti, today is a historic day for the fight against piracy.  Press release. July 12, 2023. FAPAV (Federation for the Protection of Audiovisual and Multimedia Content Industries)

Goodbye IPTV forever, the law passes in the Senate and destroys piracy. Article. July 16, 2023. Italy24

Italy study: Piracy rate steady but incidents grew by 9%; rights-holders remain nervous. Article. June 28, 2023. Piracy Monitor

Italy: Senate to vote on anti-piracy bill that gives 30 minutes to respond to pirates. Article. March 26, 2023. Piracy Monitor

Why it matters

Italy24 News reported a comment by Lucia Borgonzoni, Undersecretary of State at Italy’s Ministry of Culture: “With today’s vote in the Senate, a clear message of firm opposition to the illicit dissemination of content protected by rights has been reaffirmed. I thank all the parliamentarians for their efforts. Another great result in defense of creativity and works of genius, which are the lifeblood for the cultural and economic growth of our country”

“The speed in the parliamentary work and the unanimity of the Chamber and Senate in the approval of the Bill are two aspects that highlight the common intent to act on a phenomenon that impacts the Italian economy, said Federico Bagnoli Rossi, President of FAPAV, in commenting on the approval of the new anti-piracy proposal. “We give sincere thanks to all the political forces and the Government for immediately understanding how central it is to have innovative tools to combat the criminal mentalities behind audiovisual piracy.”

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