updated 04:00 pm EST, Fri February 1, 2008
Italian parliament and P2P
The Italian parliament may be on the verge of legalizing peer-to-peer music sharing, local paper La Repubblica reports. Already approved by both houses of the legislature, a new law allows open sharing of any images and music on the Internet, so long as the material is degraded and used solely in non-profit scientific or educational contexts. The problem, says Italian lawyer Andrea Monti, is that "degraded" has specific connotations which could include any form of MP3, given that the format is by definition affected by compression, even if listeners cannot tell.
Under the wording of the law, no copyright licensing is needed, nor do people have to obtain any permissions, Monti claims. As a result peer-to-peer sharing could run unchecked in Italy, because there may be virtually no way to determine the circumstances under which a track was downloaded. For corporations eager to control intellectual property, the one relief may a forth coming ministerial decree, which is set to determine the exact limits of the law's meaning.