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Censorship Government Your Rights Online

Italy May Censor Torrent Sites 194

An anonymous reader writes "Following a Pirate Bay block more than a year ago, Italy continues its attempts to censor torrent sites. The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that copyright holders can now force ISPs to block BitTorrent sites, even if they are hosted outside Italy. The torrent sites which 'hold' copyrighted materials are accused of taking part in criminal activity. It seems someone should enlighten Italian jurists about technology."
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Italy May Censor Torrent Sites

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  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @06:45AM (#30591844)

    It seems someone should enlighten Italian jurists about technology.

    Facilitating a crime has, to my knowledge, never been legal in any Western country. That is precisely what sites like The Pirate Bay do for users in certain countries.

  • Does this mean (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pedestrian crossing ( 802349 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @06:52AM (#30591876) Homepage Journal
    Goodbye EZTV?
  • Re:"Supreme courts" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DMiax ( 915735 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @07:05AM (#30591916)
    Judgement by "normal" people is something that was feared a lot in writing the Italian Consitution, because we had seen how it worked with fascism. The principle that people support is enough to justify everything is the essence of fascism and one of the scary mantras of Mr. Berlusconi.
  • by zwei2stein ( 782480 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @07:31AM (#30591982) Homepage

    From another POV, you can see that Goverments everywhere welcome any possiblity of increasing their power, and censorship/media control is quite powerhouse.

    The fact that someone else (entertainment industry) will take all the blame for it is icing on cake, especially as entertainment industry can run its own propaganda campaign to justify it.

    Is it goverment allowing themseles to be maneuvred or media moguls being played to be white horses?


    So you end up with censorship infrastructure for your use and with someone else taking blame for all of it happening. Its quite a victory!

  • by gowen ( 141411 ) <> on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @07:40AM (#30592010) Homepage Journal

    The Supreme court got involved and funnily enough ruled that this was not the case which now means banks can charge what they like.

    No, they can charge the customer agreed to when they opened the account. What the Supreme Court said was "If you don't like the charges, don't open the account. Don't expect the courts to bail you out on something you agreed to."

    And this is good for two reasons:
    i) Personal responsibility is a good thing.
    ii) My banking is free, because people who pay unauthorised-overdraft fees subsidise it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @08:28AM (#30592200)

    Its funny because the movies people pirate speak of freedom... and yet they have nothing of the sort in the real world.

    Piracy is a protest. Its todays rebellion. Music is pathetic and corporate. Music today speaks of conformity. Look at Rap, or Autotuned pop crap. Its all about conforming.

    Torrenting is this generations way of rebelling against their parents and the system because there is no other outlet.

    Its a protest, and its valid.

  • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @08:32AM (#30592214)

    where we actually want to draw the line, indeed, where is it sensible to draw the line.

    Complete repeal of all copyright. Ultimately, that's where we're going anyway, the attacks on information flow and social sharing has merely resulted in technological shifts towards less open forms, and the next stage is pretty much the end game; f2f darknets re-form the whole fabric of communications into untraceable undetectable anonymous networks.

    You end up with a situation where you have no scale on which to draw the line, where it's impossible to tell communications apart, you end up with a binary choice: allow communications or not.

    If you still want state support of content industries, just pay them out of the state budget, from a macroeconomic point of view there's no difference between taxes and monopoly rights anyway (except taxes tend to be more efficient). Legalize copying and pay them a premium per copy to emulate the current system if you want to do that.

    it even has "Pirate" in the damn name!

    Oddly enough, I haven't seen them selling speedboats or peg legs. Doesn't seem like they're out to aid any piracy. And they're not called 'the copyright infringement bay', are they...?

    some sort of freedom fight or otherwise worthy cause.

    You don't give up ethics just because the bully's whine more. Rather the opposite; with the actions of the content industries in situations such as ACTA, it has become a moral imperative to deny them any form of revenue. Their corrosive influence on democracy and corruption of politics has made it obvious that they are intolerable to civil society in their current form.

  • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @08:45AM (#30592274)

    I see.

    So what the Pirate Bay should have done was set as its purpose to be a site that told stories about how pirates commit piracy?

    Seeing as how authors and filmmakers very often depend on depicting the details of how criminals commit crimes to sell their wares they should have no problems with sites dedicated to the same.

    One such story might begin thus:

    "Alvin, feeling downtrodden by the corporate masters ruling society, created a .torrent file that contained the following data...(insert link to data here)".

    Would that be enough? Or do you believe any description of how crimes are committed should be censored?

  • Re:"Supreme courts" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lbbros ( 900904 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @10:55AM (#30593380) Homepage
    The extreme of that fear, in turn, created a closed group that is essentially a clique of a selected elite that has none, or very little, accountability. I wonder why people here, even Italians, are tying this judgment with the government, since this so-called clique is all but in support of the current government. Not saying that people judgment is correct, but that fear caused the exact opposite. There is a dire need for some middle ground.
  • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @09:50AM (#30604650)

    no-one has ever managed to answer reasonably

    I've seen more suggestions for workable systems than I can count on my digits.

    what system do you propose instead,

    Personally I doubt there is any extra incentive needed at all. But I'll indulge you; if we want extra benefits for creators, personally I'm leaning towards 'creative incentive tax' structured as a VAT on any works or services derived from a specific content, payable directly to the creator. Not wholly different from how radio broadcast payments work today, but applicable in general to all protected material. Anyone can duplicate, but from any revenue derived off the duplication a percentage (not a fixed number, we're after 'competition') goes to the creator. Wal-mart wants to sell books? Fine, they can print them on demand and 50% revenue goes to the author. EMI wants to open stores? Fine, but 50% off sales goes to creator. CableCo wants to broadcast a show? Go ahead, but 50% of the segment revenue goes to the creator.

    Such a system is easily tunable and you can even modify it by maxing out payment or tuning years of payment for each work to maximize incentive efficiency.

    These are trivially refuted by observing that you need an Internet connection to use any of these technically clever systems

    Actually, ignoring the facts of impenetrable cell networks, no, you don't need an internet connection. A 2TB disk represents a week with a 34Mbit line, and routing software making use of datastores synced anytime you meet your friends wouldn't be that hard.

    You can deny them revenue by simply not using their product.

    Not efficiently enough in light of the attacks on freedom and democracy.

    You don't have to material under copyright illegally,

    I certainly don't, but unless others can be convinced not to use that material either, they can at least be convinced not to pay for it.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus