Licence required to upload videos in Italy under new law

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A new law proposed by the Italian Government could see the citizens of Italy requiring a licence to upload videos to the Internet from the Communications Ministry, which could reduce the freedom of communications, according to lawmakers opposed to the new law.

If the law passes, this would make Italy the only country in Europe and the Western world to require government approval to upload videos — even as simple as a cat playing a piano or sharing video recorded on a holiday to share with friends.

“Italy joins the club of the censors, together with China, Iran and North Korea,” said Vincenzo Vita from the Democratic Party.

This would extend the Communications Ministry’s control on communications, and the law could come into effect as soon as the end of the month. As well, it would also mean those who claimed to be defamed a right of reply, and prevent copyright material popping up online.

Other critics of the proposed law describe it as a conflict of interest by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has control of the public broadcaster RAI as he’s the head of the government and is also the owner of Mediaset, the largest private broadcaster in the country. This could also be a way to prevent clips of football games (or soccer to those who prefer to call it) appearing on YouTube, especially when Mediaset has the rights to broadcast Serie A for its pay-per-view television network.

According to The Standard, blogger for the weekly magazine L’Espresso, Alessandro Gilioli, wrote that this would stop any future competition for Mediaset, especially in the IPTV realm, and reducing the number of independent videos that would be circulating on the Internet.

“It’s the Berlusconi method: Kill your potential enemies while they are small. That’s why anyone doing Web TV — even from their attic at home — must get ministerial approval and fulfill a host of other bureaucratic obligations ministerial approval and fulfill a host of other bureaucratic obligations,” Gilioli wrote.

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