On 5 May 2014 the Italian Communication Regulatory Authority (hereinafter “Authority”) published four orders on its website following applications that had been filed a few weeks earlier under the new Regulation on the protection of copyright on electronic communications networks, which entered into force on 31 March 2014.
The applications were filed by organisations representing copyright holders in films and music, specifically FAPAV (Federation of Audiovisual and Multimedia Content Protection) and FPM (Federation against Musical Piracy and Multimedia), who had asked the Authority to intervene in order to remove the contents that were in alleged violation of those rights from the Internet (in essence, illegal copies of protected works made available for download). The websites identified as the “place” of the alleged infringement (http://limetorrents.com, http://torrentz.pro/,http://www.torrentdownloads.me/, http://www.torrentdownload.ws) allow the user to obtain digital contents in torrent format.
The outcome of the ensuing proceedings was an order issued by the Authority, addressed to all access providers based in Italy, instructing them to disable access to the above offending websites. The websites in question are, in fact, hosted on servers located abroad.
Access providers to whom the order was directed had only two days from the notification date to comply. The Authority had in fact found a significant number of illegal reproductions of copyrighted works on the abovementioned websites, which prompted it to opt for the abbreviated proceeding provided for by art. 9 of the Regulation. And they did: as of today, access from Italy to the same websites appears to have been disabled. Unless there is a successful appeal against the Authority’s decision or a revision of the same, it will remain unchanged.
Here you can read the full Italian version of one of the four orders published.