The Office of the Public Prosecutor of Cagliari recently prohibited access from Italy to the popular website btjunkie.org. Btjunkie is one of the most famous search engines for torrent links, often used to find works of art such as music, films and video games. The order appears to be an injunction on internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent access to btjunkie.org from Italy.
The public prosecutor acted on the basis of legal provisions (Legislative Decree 70/2003 implementing the EU E-commerce Directive) which allow the judicial authority to require ISPs to terminate or prevent an infringement – in this case a copyright infringement – in the framework of urgent proceedings. The legal procedure chosen by the public prosecutor, at first sight, appears different from that adopted for the Pirate Bay website in 2008, which involved a seizure.
Given that the public prosecutor's decree is not yet available to the public, this matter cannot be discussed in more depth at this time. Nevertheless, the case demonstrates that the fight against online piracy is currently a hot topic in Italy from both the civil and criminal perspectives, and in the absence of up-to-date legislation, the authorities are trying to construe the law in new ways in order to be more effective. Only time will tell whether such new approaches are in compliance with the law.
For further information on this topic please contact Gianluigi Marino at DLA Piper Italy by telephone (+39 02 80 61 81), fax (+39 02 80 61 82 01) or email ([email protected]).