File-Sharing Declared Legal In Italy
Music & Movie downloading is only a crime if a financial gain is involved…
According to a ruling by a top criminal court in Rome, Italy, file-sharing is legal as long as the participant don’t profit from the exchange. The court overturned the convictions of two former Turin Polytechnic Institute students, both prolific file-traders, who ran a Peer-To-Peer (P2P) network in the 1990s, though authorities shuttered the organization within just a few months of its debut. Lower courts had found them guilty of illegal duplication.
Though the decision only applies to criminal law, the ruling sets a major precedent. However, copyright holders can still file civil suits, and that’s where all the action will take place in future. The SIAE, the Italian equivalent of the RIAA, downplayed the ruling and pointed to a legislative solution. In a statement, the SIAE referenced current legislation that calls for fines regardless of financial gain.