Global Information Technology & Communications
Italy - New regulation for online copyright protection brought before the Italian Constitutional Court
The new regulation issued by AGCOM concerning online copyright protection (No. 680/13/CONS) has been brought before the Italian Constitutional Court. The regulation entered into force on March 31, 2014, and establishes AGCOM’s powers in the area of copyright protection on electronic communication networks. The regulation provides for a special administrative procedure for the evaluation and termination of copyright violations on the web and on audiovisual media services, mainly achieved by the direct involvement of the concerned internet service providers (ISPs). The regulation had been immediately appealed by a few consumer associations before the Italian Administrative Court. The latter issued its decision on September 26, 2014, and confirmed that AGCOM had acted within the powers granted by the law, but referred to the Italian Constitutional Court the question on whether such laws (on which the regulation is based) are in line with the Italian Constitution. The question for the Constitutional Court is whether the power to order the removal of content published online, or to order ISPs to block access to a specific site, may properly be granted to an administrative authority such as AGCOM. This may not be sufficient to comply with the right to freedom of expression set forth in Article 21 of the Italian Constitution. A decision by the Italian Constitutional Court on this matter could take several months, if not years. In the meanwhile, the regulation remains in full force and effect.
For more information, please contact Saverio Ligi.