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LEGISLATION Italy

General State of Cinema 3: Piracy and copyright

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The General State of Cinema, held during the Rome International Film Festival, ended with two conferences on copyright and piracy. The issues more or less directly traversed the entire event and were also at the centre of meetings held during this year’s Venice Film Festival .

The event unfolded along the lines that while Italian legislation exists it has never applied and thus new solutions must be studied. Possible options are the “French method,” which disconnects the user from the Internet as a final step, and one considered more radical, which requires providers to take responsibility by making them pay a fixed royalty as a preventive measure to recoup copyright violations.

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As in Venice, participants spoke adamantly of piracy a “moral issue” and for the need to educate school age children. Yet there is currently no one who could fill such a role while data confirmed that 25-40 year-olds make up the largest group of illegal Internet downloaders, and not adolescents.

SIAE, which manages copyright, actively participated in both conferences, and beyond supplying data that confirmed the enormity of the financial damage incurred, denounced the fact that the concept of “intellectual property” is disappearing due to the increasingly more economical view of product as merely goods.

Representatives from the film industry and from the top provider companies were absent from the events, while consumer associations took part for the first time. Although they condemned violations, the latter group took pains to distinguish between the different and greater responsibilities between those who upload illegal material online and those who simply download it, emphasising the difference between the illicit and the criminal.

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(Translated from Italian)

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