On December 12, 2013, the Italian Communication Regulatory Authority (hereinafter “Agcom”) issued the Regulation about copyright protection in electronic communications networks.

The Regulation sets out the measures that Agcom may adopt in order to protect the copyright in electronic communication networks.

The Regulation aims to encourage an effective legal offer of contents and to promote users access to those content. In addition, it states procedures to the establishment and termination of violation of copyright and related rights, carried out on electronic communications networks.

The Regulation does not apply to end users of digital contents, and it does not impact on peer-to-peer applications.

This Regulation does not limit the freedom of expression and information, but ensures the full guarantee of the rights of inform, comment, discuss and the educational and scientific purposes; and any use not adversely affecting the normal exploitation of the content.

Moreover, it does not affect the legal interactions between the parties involved, providing adequate time to do so in their interests.

The measures aims to protect the freedom ‘ of the network, because the procedure does not provide any measure of inhibition of access to Internet sites.

In addition to measures of notice and takedown,  under principles set out by  Legislative Decree no. 70/2003, the Regulation states that Agcom may act at the request of a party, in order to protect the copyright.

However, a proceeding before the Authority cannot be promoted if a proceeding for the same object and between the same parties is pending before the Judicial Authority.

Under the Regulation, ISPs,  uploaders,  managers, providers and owners of a webpage or website may conclude the procedure  by adapting spontaneusly to the Agcom’s requests or submitting a rebuttal .

The procedure before the Agcom will be concluded if the copyright holder decides to address the issues to the judicial Authority. However, the decisions regarding copyright can be challenged at the TAR (the Administrative Court) of Lazio.

The Regulation shall enter ‘ into force on March 31, 2014.