Italy to introduce new (neighbouring) right over news content?

These look like truly exciting or seriously worrisome times for copyright in Italy. On one thing there is however agreement: these are times of change. 

Following adoption of AGCOM (Italian Communication Authority)'s Regulation on Online Copyright Enforcement (non-official English translation available here; analysis of its content available here and here) a few days ago, it seems that now the time is apt for Italy to look at what Germany did (here, but see here) and France (here) and Belgium (here) considered doing in relation to news aggregation services. 

A few months ago FIEG (the Italian Federation of Newspaper Publishers) stressed the importance of providing effective online content protection (here). In particular, FIEG held the view that, while news publishers have been adopting innovative models to remain competitive, there have been no actual political initiatives in Italy to protect content producers and safeguard all the economic, political and technical resources that are considered indispensable to produce quality content. 

As those IPKat readers who also follow The 1709 Blog may recall, Italian Government did not remain insensitive to FIEG plea. Indeed, in an interview with Corriere della Sera in June last, Giovanni Legnini (under-secretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers) started a debate as to what measures Italy might adopt in favour of press publishers.

Well, that discussion may now translate to actual measures. 

Alas! This is not enough for press
publishers, thinks the Italian Government
A few days ago Italian Government adopted its plan known as Destinazione Italia, which is composed of a Law Decree and a bill which is linked to the forthcoming budget law.

Among other things, as also reported by fellow blogger Giulio Coraggio, the Destinazione Italia bill contains measures in favour of Italian press publishers, including the introduction of what may look like a new neighbouring right over news content. 

The main objective, as clarified by Italian Government, is to balance freedom of information over digital platforms with the safeguard of core principles of copyright protection. 

Major financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reproduces the text of the relevant provision which, as this Kat translated, reads as follows:

"Where rights are expressly reserved, reproduction, communication to the public and, in any case, use, including partial (use), in any way or medium, including indexing or aggregation in any way - whether (analogue or) digital - of press content, including medium and editorial context, which is published in print, online, TV- or radio-broadcast or made available to the public by other means, is allowed only following agreement between the relevant rights holder(s), or relevant representatives of rightsholders authorised to do so, and the user(s), or relevant representatives of users authorised to do so. Lacking agreement over terms of use, including economic use, such terms are defined by AGCOM upon request of interested parties."

As correctly observed by Il Sole 24 Ore, the language employed in this provision is fairly broad (and rather vague) and might imply the need for seeking and obtaining permission for any aggregation activity, even beyond "pure" news aggregation services. 

It will be interesting to see how this provision, if actually transposed into law, will enter and change the Italian Copyright Act (Law 633/1941) and what its relationship with libere utilizzazioni (copyright exceptions) will be. 
Italy to introduce new (neighbouring) right over news content? Italy to introduce new (neighbouring) right over news content? Reviewed by Eleonora Rosati on Sunday, December 22, 2013 Rating: 5

No comments:

All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.