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Italy Floats Official Permission Requirement for Web Video Uploads 131

An anonymous reader writes with some bad news from Italy, noting that new rules proposed there would "require people who upload videos onto the Internet to obtain authorization from the Communications Ministry similar to that required by television broadcasters, drastically reducing freedom to communicate over the Web." Understandably, some say such controls represent a conflict of interest for Silvio Berlusconi, "who exercises political control over the state broadcaster RAI in his role as prime minister and is also the owner of Italy's largest private broadcaster, Mediaset."
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Italy Floats Official Permission Requirement for Web Video Uploads

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  • Re:That's insane (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Narpak ( 961733 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:47PM (#30793962)

    This is also impractical, because you can't expect every single citizen to apply for permission just to post videos of their cat onto youtube.

    Indeed. One thing that could kill such a policy quickly is the huge number of people applying for permission for all sorts of material would swamp the institution. But seriously the oppressiveness of such a policy seems excessive; even for Italy. And to make this have any sort of effect at all they would have to block all access to foreign sites since they would continue to upload more or less whatever they would wish.

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:54PM (#30794028) Homepage Journal
    p2p will be a problem, even if what is being transfered is legal. What if i.e. a linux distribution includes a package with demo video of something... that linux distribution will be forbidden to be transfered using bittorrent or required a bunch of permissions for that?

    Same with videochat, i.e. skype, googletalk and others.

    Wonder if the selling of webcams will have some kind of requirement, like signing something. Because with this you will not be able to turn them on without getting a permission.
  • Re:That's insane (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DMiax ( 915735 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @07:22PM (#30794268)
    No need to circumvent for private individuals, fortunately. Our government is sloppy and has not thought of a single way to enforce this. It will be used against competitors to Berlusconi's TVs and against Murdoch's Sky, which is in the scope of the bill. Not that it is so much better...
  • by stimpleton ( 732392 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @07:26PM (#30794308)
    On YouTube is a regular poster. He drives around on his farm and does crazy things in cars. Jumping over things etc. Friends come over and do the same. They post the videos to YouTube.

    Local authoritys have said he needs a "Movie Studios Licence". His property have been raided. He currently is posting videos from his house mostly these days.

    I should add he has a conviction of a sexual nature against a child back in the 80's, so the motivation of autorities might be on that. []
  • by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:05PM (#30794632)

    In the present Italian electoral system, about 2-3 people decide who will be a candidate for parliament (party leaders). Voters can only choose between parties, not single candidates. Add to that the fact that the "opposition" of Italy's Democratic Party is ludicrously weak (and, I suspect, several of its leaders are on Berlusconi's payroll). Whenever the present opposition was in power, they always "forgot" to pass laws to either strip Berlusconi of his media empire, or to ban him out of politics until he sells; they even left alone one of his major TV stations, Rete 4, which was broadcasting illegally.

    Italy resembles more and more the GDR: control of media, check (not complete, but enough to control 50% of the people); illegal wiretapping operations on opposition, check (last week, government covered on grounds of "safety of the state" a wiretapping scandal in private companies); kidnapping and torture, check (with the help of the CIA, an imam was kidnapped from Milan and extensively tortured in Egypt). Only thing different is that the judiciary is somewhat holding out because of the constitutional checks and balances, so we are going more for a kleptocracy than for a re-edition of fascism.

    Only good thing about Berlusconi is that he surrounds himself with idiots, who will not try or be able to take his place. At least when the son of a bitch finally dies, his system should crumble. I have no more faith in the possibility of simply voting him out.

  • by calmofthestorm ( 1344385 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @11:05PM (#30795648)

    Yes that was a bit over the top. However:

    >> is run by its people
    That's the point I'm trying to challenge here. North Korea is an extreme example, perhaps China makes more sense.

    You know the arguments we all laugh at in the rest of the world, that Chinese want their internet censored? A surprisingly large number do (based on accounts from Chinese friends who left in their late teens/early 20's). I have no idea if they're 10% or 90% of the population but I'd put good money it it being in this range. With internet censorship as a proxy for other things the government does. Is it a people's right to be censored to such an extreme extent? In my opinion that point is debatable. If you preach social contracts too hard, soon you have ones that are binding on children and children's children.

    The problem here is that when a country "run by its people" goes too far, it becomes a tyranny, sometimes by a majority. A well run country in my mind needs to respect the rights of the minority while carrying out the will of the majority, and I'd argue that Italy's systematic censorship (I'm not just talking about Youtube here) and fascist [literally] economics, this is not the case.

    But as you say, sovereignty is sovereignty, and it's not the American president's duty to go around Liberating countries we don't like the government of *cough* *cough*. But that doesn't mean I can't call it what it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @04:52AM (#30796830)

    i'm italian. posting AC for obvious reasons.
    i can tell you that's funny that they are now seeking for an authorization for internet's videos "similar to that required by television broadcasters" when one of the three tv channel of berlusconi himself doesn't have the permission to broadcast. in fact, that channel is illegally occupying frequencies already assigned to a new competitor in the italian's tv market that can't broadcast because of this. i'm not so much up to date, but the European Union (god bless them to try something against our dictator) already gave us a multi-million euros fine for that.

    just for the record, the italian tv system look like this:
    analog transmission: 3 public channels (controlled by the parliament, so by mr. berlusconi) with an average 50% share, 3 berlusconi channels with an average 45% share, and 2 channel owned by the local telco giant (about 5%), one of which broadcast the local mtv.
    dvb-t: still not everywhere in italy. 3-4 more public channels, other 2 free-to-air and 10 pay-per-view of berlusconi, 1 of murdoch's sky, bbc world, france 24, and almost nothing else apart from a couple of local tv stations airing mainly commercials.
    satellite: only murdoch himself. also, if you count that the average income is 1200-1300€/month and the cost for the subscription to the satellite tv is from 45€/month, you understand that the average joe can't afford this.

    and remember: when you say that mr. berlusconi was elected so is how democracy works and bla bla bla, keep in mind this fact: when you sum up his control over the televisions and the control over the press (where he controls different newspapers and magazines directly and a lot more indirectly, mainly by _controlling the advertising_) you know how is it possible that a man bound with mafia can win an election. the majority of people in italy are brainwashed and for them is ok that a man had a mafia killer as groom (vittorio mangano) and as co-founder of his party a man strictly tied with mafia (a mafioso himself, i would say: marcello dell'utri). note: berlusconi and dell'utri said that vittorio mangano was a "HERO", long after he died and where everything about him was know. YES! they said that a mafioso killer is a HERO!

    also, berlusconi did some illegal wiretapping with men at the lead of the our telco giant (the one with the others two tv channels :blink-blink:) and now he pose the state secret on that stuff so they can't prosecute him or the men that did this for him.

    if you count that a lot of opposition to berlusconi comes from the video blogs of beppe grillo, marco travaglio, piero ricca and others, you understand how much in trouble we are. (well, actually they go against everybody, but berlusconi is so dominant in the italian scenario that he takes 90% of the time)

    now, can you understand that Italy is FUBAR?

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