Italy: Site blocking becomes law, goes into effect August 8

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On July 26, Italy signed site blocking legislation into law, which requires ISPs to terminate access to pirate streams within 30 minutes of notification by blocking domain name resolution and blocking network traffic with identified IP addresses, using automated technical countermeasures. The measure had been approved unanimously first by the Italian lower house in the spring, and then by the Senate in July.

According to FAPAV, the Italian federation against piracy, the resolution corresponds Law No. 93 of July 14, 2023, which extends the power of Italy’s communications authority to all events broadcast live, including non-sports. It was published in the Official Gazette on July 24.

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Dynamic blocking

Blocking requests are ‘dynamic,’ meaning that the same blocking request can later apply “to any other future domain name, subdomain, where technically possible, or IP address, to anyone attributable, including changes in the name or simple declension or extension (so-called top level domain), which allows access to the same contents disseminated illegally and to contents of the same nature.”

According to the legislation, right holders and intermediary service providers are encouraged to collaborate in “developing and using technical solutions aimed at facilitating the processing of notices, such as application programming interfaces,” and to regularly update their listings of prohibited sites, as rights-holders  change servers, IP addresses and make changes to access rules.

Next steps

AGCOM, “in collaboration with the National Cybersecurity Agency, will convene a technical working group with the participation of service providers, network access providers, right holders, content providers, audiovisual media service providers and the most representative associations responsible for the protection of copyright and related rights, to define the technical and operational requirements of the tools necessary to allow the disabling of domain names or IP addresses, through a single technological platform with automated operation for all recipients of disabling measures. The technical specifications thus shared will flow into specific guidelines dedicated to the implementation and operation of the platform,” according to the new ruling.

Further reading

Resolution No. 189/23/CONS. Amendments to the Regulation on the Protection of Copyright on Electronic Communications Networks and Implementing Procedures Pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 70 of 9 April 2003 Referred to in the Resolution No. 680/13/CONS. The Authority at the Council Meeting of July 26, 2023.  Resolution. July 26, 2023. AGCOM (Authorita per le Garanzie Nelle Comunicazioni) Italy.

AGCOM approves amendments to online copyright rules and introduces dynamic injunctions for blocking within 30 minutes for live sports content.  Press release. July 28, 2023. FAPAV (Federation for the Protection of Industries of Audiovisual and Multimedia Content)

Italy: Senate unanimously passes anti-piracy bill; to become law after final formalities. Article. July 13, 2023. Piracy Monitor.

Why it matters

FAPAV president Federico Bagnoli Rossi commented on the approval of the Resolution: “This measure comes at a crucial time in the fight against piracy, the Authority will be able to operate in a timely manner to allow the immediate blackout of all those platforms that illegally broadcast live sports content.

“According to the latest FAPAV/Ipsos data, in 2022 there were 345 million illegal acts, as many as 30 million more than the previous year, so we hope that these changes can be extended as soon as possible to cinematographic, audiovisual and other entertainment content, as provided for by the Law just published, in support of the good performance of cinema in theaters.” he said.

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