A system that allows Italian copyright owners to order the removal of pirated content online has gone live.
The procedure, which became effective on March 31, requires rights owners to contact Italy’s Communications Regulatory Authority (Agcom) about alleged infringement. If Agcom agrees to remove content, it orders the relevant internet service provider (ISP) to take it down.
But the new system does not apply to content on peer-to-peer file-sharing sites.
ISPs must comply with a takedown order within three days or face fines ranging from €10,000 to €258,000 ($13,800 to $355,000).
However, three consumer associations have reportedly filed a lawsuit that aims to block the new system, arguing it is unfair.
According to Telecompaper, Altroconsumo, Assoprovider and Assintel appealed at the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, saying the system amounts to “an exercise in repression that fails to provide for any appeal to courts, as required by the constitution”.
Agcom published details of the ‘notice and takedown’ system as part of a new regulation in December last year.
If it accepts rights owners’ requests, the independent authority itself must order ISP action within 35 days.
EU countries have taken different approaches to online infringement. In the UK, rights owners must go to court to have sites offering pirated content blocked. France, which has similar systems in place, also operates a ‘three-strike’ system under which repeat offenders can be fined up to €1,500.
This article was first published on 3 April 2014 in World IP Review
notice and takedown, piracy, copyright infringement, Communications Regulatory Authority, Agcom