Print 13 comment(s) - last by Xerstead.. on Feb 4 at 5:39 PM

Italian parliament passed legislation unknowingly legalizing P2P music

Just when they thought they were a step closer to halting the sharing of music, Italy goes and screws things up.  The Italian parliament passed a new copyright law in both houses that would allow citizens to share noncommercial and degraded music over the internet freely.  But alas, it turns out all music sold on most download sites is degraded. MP3 and AAC files at 192kbps and 128kbps, respectively, fit in the downgraded category.

Though the law limits file sharing to “educational or scientific” use, there will be more difficulty in prosecuting those who use it for other purposes.  The law adds a broad definition of what is considered legal and illegal in this context.

Andrea Monte, who specialized in copyright law, states that the legislature “does not know that MP3 fall within the concept of degraded music”.  Monte is one of the first lawyers to be assigned to study the law at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, according to la Repubblica. 

The current law, passed through the Chamber and Senate, needs only to be published in the Official Journal before becoming a fully fledged law.  Because of this, the law is no longer able to be edited.  In order to correct the mistakes of this legislation, parliament officials will have to pass another law.

But for now, SIAE (Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori), Italy’s RIAA counterpart, will have to deal with the situation, possible to help mold a new law.

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By HaZaRd2K6 on 2/3/2008 5:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
Do 320kbps MP3s fall into the "degraded" category? They aren't lossless, so they are degraded to some degree.

RE: 320kbps?
By homerdog on 2/3/2008 6:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
Good question. I would like to know how they decide what is "degraded" and what is not.

RE: 320kbps?
By cochy on 2/3/2008 11:06:11 PM , Rating: 2
If it's not lossless then it's technically degraded.

RE: 320kbps?
By homerdog on 2/4/2008 12:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, but you know how these laws are. Oftentimes the legal definition and the technical definition have nothing to do with one another.

RE: 320kbps?
By mars777 on 2/4/2008 2:03:48 PM , Rating: 3
MP3 is degraded in any kb/s mode. FLAC is a lossless format.

I like...
By shuffle2 on 2/3/2008 11:44:31 PM , Rating: 5
I like how this article is written as if the writer is backing the RIAA (and hopes that they will be influential in making the new modifying law).

RE: I like...
By Xerstead on 2/4/2008 5:39:17 PM , Rating: 2

:) Nice.

P2P is for DATA
By amanojaku on 2/4/2008 1:42:21 AM , Rating: 5
It's about time people realized that, whatever the contents of the data, P2P is not illegal. ISPs, stop blocking P2P or start dropping connection fees!

Now let's be honest: a good amount of P2P is used to swap data that is copyrighted and therefore non-transferable (movies, music, software, etc...) But P2P is like the public street: would you want the cops to pat you down for weapons and search your pockets for drugs, all in the name of keeping things "safe"?

There will always be a black market. People sell or trade bootlegged items constantly. This happens with DVDs, CDs, clothes, perfumes, you name it. The majority of the world, however, likes to do things legally, even though the cost is higher. I give Italy kudos for realizing that policing the trade of mp3s is too much effort. If P2P was somehow halted guess what? People would go back to trading mp3s (or WMVs, OGGs, AACs, FLACs, etc...) via floppy, CD, USB stick, or Windows file shares.

I just wish there was content WORTH watching or listening to.

Fair Use
By GaryJohnson on 2/4/2008 12:22:13 PM , Rating: 3
Though the law limits file sharing to “educational or scientific” use

Isn't this basically the same as "Fair Use" in the U.S. ?

Hey guys...
By Hieyeck on 2/4/2008 4:20:35 PM , Rating: 3
I was only "researching the effects of lossy recordings on personal physiology and psychology".


By sxr7171 on 2/3/2008 2:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
Then maybe instead of trying to sell us degraded MP3s these sites might start giving us a lossless option.

Legal Distribution
By jtesoro on 2/3/2008 11:47:53 PM , Rating: 2
What I think this will do is to allow sites like Pirate Bay to distribute MP3 music legally in Italy. The onus will be on the one who downloaded to prove that they're using it for "educational or scientific" purposes. So if there's any suing to be done, Italy's RIAA equivalent will have to go to end-users individually.

i think you mean unwittingly
By ElFenix on 2/4/2008 4:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
not unknowingly. slightly different connotations. presumably they knew the text of the bill and that they were voting on it.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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