DDL Centemero. Proposed Italian legislation. More DMCA takedown than one-strike cutting off

There’s recently been a bit of a stir in the twittersphere about a “Ridiculous Italian Copyright Law Proposal”.  

“The Centemero law would essentially make it so that if someone was accused of breaking copyright laws — by anyone, not just the copyright holder — they would be banned from the internet”
http://www.businessinsider.com/italian-copyright-law-proposal-centemero-2011-9?

I live in Italy and do some translation so I thought I’d take a look at the original document.

http://www.camera.it/Camera/view/doc_viewer_full?url=http%3A//www.camera.it/_dati/leg16/lavori/stampati/pdf/16PDL0051750.pdf&back_to=http%3A//www.camera.it/126%3FPDL%3D4549%26leg%3D16%26tab%3D2

Now, I must admit that there is a lot that is ridiculous about Italian politics at present – from bunga bunga to bungled budgets. but I need to clarify that the so called Centemero law is not at all as widely reported – it’s more DMCA take down on steroids.  Before I append a translation let me make it clear, I am not a qualified legal translator – so this translation is for information only and not to be relied on in any legal proceedings etc.. I have added some comments of my own in italics…

OK,  first the heading. English translation in blue text.

CAMERA DEI DEPUTATI N. 4549

PROPOSTA DI LEGGE

D’INIZIATIVA DEI DEPUTATI

Chamber of Deputies No.4549. Draft legislation initiated by deputies

CENTEMERO, PESCANTE, FORMICHELLA, VERSACE,

VIGNALI, BERNARDO, CASTIELLO, DELL’ELCE, DI

CATERINA, FUCCI, GOTTARDO, IANNARILLI, NASTRI,

NICOLUCCI, PILI, PORCU, RAZZI, SCALERA, VELLA

Modifica degli articoli 16 e 17 del decreto legislativo 9

aprile 2003, n. 70, in materia di responsabilità e di

obblighi dei prestatori di servizi della società dell’informazione

e per il contrasto delle violazioni dei diritti di

proprietà industriale operate mediante la rete internet

Amendment of Articles 16 and 17 of Legislative Decree 9 April 2003, No 70, liability and obligations of providers of information society services and the thwarting of the infringement of rights in industrial property carried out by means of the Internet

Presented July 26, 2011

Legislative Decree 9 April 2003, No 70 is the transposition into Italian law of the EU commerce directive  2000/31/CE. Full text available here:

http://www.interlex.it/testi/dlg0370.htm

I haven’t translated the full proposal for now but have done the article amendments in full. Before those though let me just give the start of the proposal:

“ONOREVOLI COLLEGHI ! — La contraffazione a mezzo della rete internet – così come la vendita attraverso questi canali telematici di prodotti la cui commercializzazione è riservata a canali regolamentati (come i farmaci) – con conseguenze pregiudizievoli di estrema gravità sia per i titolari dei diritti di proprietà industriale violati, sia per la sicurezza e per la stessa salute dei cittadini (che anche la contraffazione mette spesso in pericolo, poiché i falsi sono spesso anche pericolosi o sono realizzati in modo non conforme alle prescrizioni sulla sicurezza dei prodotti) sta divenendo un problema sempre più grave, che raggiunge proporzioni di giorno in giorno più allarmanti.”

Honorable Colleagues – Counterfeiting via the Internet is becoming an increasingly serious problem that becomes more alarming day by day.The sale through remote channels of products whose marketing is reserved for regulated channels (such as pharmaceuticals) has prejudicial and extremely serious consequences for both the holders of the infringed industrial property rights ,and for the safety and health of citizens (in that counterfeiting often creates a risk, because the fakes are often dangerous or are made in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of product safety)

 Proposed amendments:

ART. 1.

1. L’articolo 16 del decreto legislativo 9 aprile 2003, n. 70, è sostituito dal seguente:

1. Article 16 of Legislative Decree 9 April 2003, No 70, is replaced by the following:

« ART. 16. – (Responsabilità nell’attività di memorizzazione di informazioni – hosting).

‘ART. 16. – (Responsibility for the activity of information storage – hosting).

– 1. Nella prestazione di un serviziodella società dell’informazione, consistente nella memorizzazione di informazioni fornite da un destinatario del servizio, il prestatore non è responsabile delle informazioni memorizzate a richiesta di un destinatario del servizio, a condizione che detto prestatore:

1. In the provision of a service by an information service provider which consists in the storage of information provided by a recipient of the service, the provider is not responsible for the information stored at the request of a recipient of the service, provided that the said provider:

a) non sia effettivamente a conoscenza del fatto che l’attività o l’informazione è illecita e, per quanto attiene ad azioni risarcitorie, non sia al corrente di fatti o di circostanze che rendono manifesta l’illiceità dell’attività o dell’informazione, avvalendosi a tal fine di tutte le informazioni di cui disponga, incluse quelle che gli sono state fornite dai titolari dei diritti violati dall’attività o dall’informazione, anche in relazione ad attività o a informazioni illecite precedentemente memorizzate dal prestatore a richiesta dello stesso o di altri destinatari del servizio;

a) is not actually aware of the fact that the activity or information is unlawful and, in relation to claims for damages, is not aware of facts or circumstances that make manifest the unlawful activity or information, using for this purpose, all information available to it, including that provided by the owners of rights infringed by the activity or by the information, also taking into account illegal activity or information previously stored by the provider at the request of the same or other recipients of the service;

b) non appena a conoscenza di tali fatti, su comunicazione delle autorità competenti o di qualunque soggetto interessato, agisca immediatamente per rimuovere le informazioni o per disabilitarne l’accesso.

b)Acts immediately when made aware of such facts by competent authorities or any affected party, to remove the information or to disable access to it.

“qualunque soggetto interessato” is probably key to the misunderstanding  that “anyone” could strike out infringing material. In Italian “interessato” has the sense of affected by- having a definable interest concerning- rather like the distinction in the UK between the “public interest” and the “interest of the public in”

2. Le disposizioni di cui al comma 1 non si applicano se il destinatario del servizio agisce sotto l’autorità o il controllo del prestatore.

2. The provisions referred to in paragraph 1 do not apply if the recipient ofservice is acting under the authority or control of the provider.

3. L’autorità giudiziaria o quella amministrativa competente può esigere, anche in via d’urgenza, che il prestatore, nell’esercizio delle attività di cui al comma 1, impedisca o ponga fine alle violazioni commesse ».

3. The judicial or the administrative authority may require that, in a matter of urgency, that the service provider, carrying out activities referred to in paragraph 1, terminate or prevent committed infringements. “

ART. 2.

1. L’articolo 17 del decreto legislativo 9 aprile 2003, n. 70, è sostituito dal seguente:

1. Article 17 of Legislative Decree 9 April 2003, No 70, is replaced by the following:

« ART. 17. – (Assenza dell’obbligo generale di sorveglianza). –

‘ART. 17. – (No general obligation for surveillance).

1. Nella prestazione dei servizi di cui agli articoli 14, 15 e 16, il prestatore non è assoggettato ad un obbligo generale di sorveglianza sulle informazioni che trasmette o memorizza, né ad un obbligo generale di ricercare attivamente fatti o circostanze che indichino la presenza di attività illecite.

1. In providing services referred to in Articles 14, 15 and 16, the provider is not subject to a general obligation to monitor the information that it transmits or stores, or to a general obligation actively to seek facts or circumstances indicating the presence of illegal activities.

2. Fatte salve le disposizioni di cui agli articoli 14, 15 e 16, il prestatore è comunque tenuto:

2.Subject to the provisions of Articles 14, 15 and 16, the provider is still required:

a) ad informare senza indugio l’autorità giudiziaria o quella amministrativa avente funzioni di vigilanza, qualora sia a conoscenza di presunte attività o informazioni illecite riguardanti un suo destinatario del servizio della società dell’informazione;

a) to inform without delay the judicial authority or the administrative authority with supervisory functions , any knowledge of alleged illegal activities or information regarding a recipient of the service of the information service provider

b) a fornire senza indugio, a richiesta delle autorità competenti, le informazioni in suo possesso che consentano l’identificazione del destinatario dei suoi servizi con cui ha accordi di memorizzazione dei dati, al fine di individuare e di prevenire attività illecite.

b) to promptly provide, at the request of competent authorities, information in its possession which enables the identification of the recipient of its services with which it has data storage agreements, in order to detect and prevent illegal activities.

3. Il prestatore è civilmente responsabile del contenuto di tali servizi nel caso in cui, richiesto dall’autorità giudiziaria o amministrativa avente funzioni di vigilanza, non ha agito prontamente per impedire l’accesso a detto contenuto, ovvero se, avendo avuto conoscenza del carattere illecito o pregiudizievole per un terzo del contenuto di un servizio al quale assicura l’accesso, non ha provveduto ad informarne l’autorità competente.

3.The provider has a civil responsibility for the content of such services if where required by a judicial authority or by an administrative authority with supervisory functions, it has not acted promptly to prevent access to that content, to be more precise, if knowing that one third of the content of a service to which it ensures access is of an illegal or harmful character it has failed to inform the competent authority.

4. In ogni caso le esenzioni e le deroghe in materia di responsabilità previste dal presente decreto non si applicano:

4. In any case, the exemptions and exceptions to liability under the this Decree do not apply to:

a) al prestatore che deliberatamente collabori con un destinatario del suo servizio al fine di commettere atti illeciti;

a) A provider who deliberately collaborates with a recipient of its service to commit unlawful acts;

b) al prestatore che metta a disposizione del destinatario dei suoi servizi oggetto del presente decreto, o comunque fornisca o presti a suo favore, anche strumenti o servizi ulteriori, in particolare di carattere organizzativo o promozionale, ovvero adotti modalità di presentazione delle informazioni non necessarie ai fini dell’espletamento dei servizi oggetto del presente decreto, che siano idonei ad agevolare o a promuovere la messa in commercio di prodotti o di servizi ad opera del destinatario del servizio;

b)A provider who makes available to a recipient of its services covered by this decree, or otherwise supplies or gives assistance for their benefit, additional tools or services, in particular of a organizational or promotional character or adopts display methods not required for carrying out services covered by this decree, that are suitable for facilitating or promoting the marketing of products or services by the recipient of the service;

c) al prestatore che non abbia adempiuto al dovere di diligenza che è ragionevole attendersi da esso e che è previsto dal diritto al fine di individuare e di prevenire taluni tipi di attività illecite. In particolare, al fine di prevenire la violazione dei diritti di proprietà industriale, di cui al decreto legislativo 10 febbraio 2005, n. 30, tale dovere di diligenza comprende tra l’altro: l’adozione di misure che consentano di agevolare l’identificazione dei destinatari dei suoi servizi che agiscano nel commercio; l’adozione di filtri tecnicamente adeguati che non abilitino l’accesso ad informazioni dirette a promuovere o comunque ad agevolare la messa in commercio di prodotti o di servizi, in quanto tali informazioni contengano parole chiave che, negli usi normali del commercio, indicano abitualmente che i prodotti o i servizi a cui si applicano non sono originali, usate isolatamente o in abbinamento a un marchio o a un segno distintivo di cui il destinatario del servizio non abbia dimostrato di essere il titolare o il licenziatario; l’adozione di filtri tecnicamente adeguati che non abilitino l’accesso ad informazioni dirette a promuovere o comunque ad agevolare la messa in commercio di prodotti o di servizi la cui descrizione corrisponde alla descrizione di prodotti o di servizi contraffattori, che i titolari dei diritti di proprietà industriale ad essi relativi abbiano preventivamente comunicate al prestatore del servizio; l’esercizio di tali filtri anteriormente alla messa on line dell’informazione; la pubblicazione all’interno del sito del prestatore del servizio, in modo chiaro e visibile, di tale regola di esclusione; la sospensione della fruizione dei servizi dei destinatari di tali servizi che pongono in esame violazioni dei diritti di proprietà industriale per evitare che siano commesse nuove violazioni della stessa natura da parte degli stessi soggetti. Al fine di prevenire la violazione delle norme sulla commercializzazione di prodotti o di servizi soggetti a limitazioni legali nella vendita o nella fornitura, tale dovere di diligenza comprende tra l’altro: l’adozione di filtri tecnicamente adeguati che non abilitino l’accesso ad informazioni dirette a promuovere o comunque ad agevolare la messa in commercio di prodotti o di servizi, la cui commercializzazione è riservata a canali di vendita o di fornitura particolari o richiede la prescrizione medica; l’esercizio di tali filtri anteriormente alla messa on line dell’informazione; la pubblicazione all’interno del sito del prestatore del servizio, in modo chiaro e visibile, di tale regola di esclusione.

c) the provider has not complied with the duty of care which it is reasonable to expect from it and that is expected by law in order to identify and prevent certain types of illegal activities. Specifically, pursuant to Legislative Decree 10 February 2005 No 30, in order to prevent the violation of industrial property rights, this duty of care includes inter alia:

the adoption of measures to facilitate the identification of recipients of its services that are acting commercially;

the adoption of filters that are technically capable of not enabling access to information aimed at promoting or otherwise facilitating the marketing of products or services, such as information containing key words, that in normal commercial use, usually indicate that the products or services to which they that apply are not original, used alone or in conjunction with a trade mark or distinctive description to which the service recipient has not proven that they are the owner or the licensee;

the adoption of filters that are technically capable of not enabling access to information aimed at promoting or otherwise facilitating the marketing of products or services whose description matches the description of counterfeit products or services,which holders of industrial property rights relating thereto have previously communicated to the service provider;

the use of these filters before the information is put online, the publicationon the site of the service provider, in a clear and visible way, of the exclusionary rules, the suspension of the use of the services by service recipients that bring into question infringement of industrial property rights in order to avoid new infringements of the same kind being committed by the same parties.

In order to prevent violation of the regulations related to the marketing of goods or services subject to legal restrictions in their sale or supply, such a duty of care includes inter alia:

the adoption of filters that are technically capable of not enabling access to information aimed at promoting or otherwise facilitating the marketing of products or services whose marketing is reserved to particular sales or supply channels or requires a medical prescription;

the use of these filters before the information is put online, the publication on the site of the service provider, in a clear and visible way, of the exclusionary rules,

5. Le esenzioni e le deroghe in materia di responsabilità previste dal presente decreto lasciano impregiudicata la possibilità di azioni inibitorie di altro tipo e, in particolare, delle azioni inibitorie previste dal codice della proprietà industriale, di cui al decreto legislativo 10 febbraio 2005, n. 30, e dalla legge 22 aprile 1941, n. 633, che obbligano a porre fine a una violazione di diritti della proprietà industriale o intellettuale o ad impedirla, anche con la rimozione dell’informazione illecita o con la disabilitazione dell’accesso alla medesima.

5. The exemptions and exceptions on responsibilities under this decree do not affect the possibility of injunctions of different kinds and, in particular, injunctions under the Code of Industrial Property, Legislative Decree 10 February 2005 No 30, and of the legislation April 22, 1941, No 633, which seek to end a violation of industrial property rights or intellectual property rights or to prevent it, by the removal of illegal information or by the disabling of access to it.

decreto legislativo 10 febbraio 2005, n. 30, is the Italian law covering

Diritti di proprietà industriale

Rights of industrial property

1. Ai fini dei presente codice, l’espressione proprietà industriale comprende marchi ed altri segni distintivi, indicazioni geografiche, denominazioni di origine, disegni e modelli, invenzioni, modelli di utilità, topografie dei prodotti a semiconduttori, informazioni aziendali riservate e nuove varietà vegetali.

For the purposes of this present legislation the expression industrial property comprises trade marks and other distinctive identification, geographical indicators, denomination of origin, drawings and models, inventions, utility models, topography of semiconductor products, reserved company information and new vegetable varieties

 

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13 Responses to DDL Centemero. Proposed Italian legislation. More DMCA takedown than one-strike cutting off

  1. Goya says:

    “the suspension of the use of the services by service recipients that bring into question infringement of industrial property rights in order to avoid new infringements of the same kind being committed by the same parties.”

    This is the big issue. Hadopi all’Amatriciana, so to speak.

    • Pete Carroll says:

      Not sure it’s Hadopi but there is a French angle to this. The part of the Centemero preamble you quote goes back to the Oreal v Ebay European Court of Justice case where it was concluded that an injunction could be taken out to order a ISP to disconnect to prevent further infringement. Not really aimed at end-users as Hadopi is – but yes could be stretched by clever lawyers!

      • Goya says:

        Other interpretations notwithstanding, does that imply disconnecting in the sense of deleting an user account from Ebay to impede further illicit behavior (although of course he could use a sibling or parent’s account to register once more), or actually noticing the actual ISP on the infringing activities of the Ebay user, and requesting his disconnection?

  2. Paolo Brini says:

    Hello!

    Thank you so much for the translation!

    About the important challenges to my first analysis of the draft law…

    1) Does the scope of the law include connectivity providers, or is it limited to hosting providers, search engines and e-commerce websites?

    The scope includes connectivity provider because article 2.1 of the draft law clarifies that the scope of this article is: service providers of the information society named in art. 14, 15 and 16 of DLgs 70/2003. Art. 14 covers “connectivity” providers.
    [background: italian law 70/2003 is the transposition of Directive on eCommerce 2000/31/EC; art. 14 of DLgs 70/2003 is the implementation of 2000/31/EC art. 12].

    2) Does the one-strike disconnection for end-users include alleged industrial property rights infringements only, or can it be extended also to copyright infringements?

    About this, please see my answer available for AirVPN here:
    .

    In addition to that, see art. 2.5. Now, consider a p2p enviromnent, where the “infringing content” is in the computer of one or more users of the swarm. The “disabling the access to it” can be performed: a) by physically seizing the computer of the end-users who share the content in the swarm; b) by suspending the Internet connection of those end-users.

    Given all of the above, the law does seem to give green light to one-strike disconnections of end-users not only for alleged industrial property rights infringements, but also for alleged copyright infringements. The technical implementation will be crucial, if the law should ever be adopted.

    I hope this clarifies the reasons of my first, quick analysis.

    Kind regards
    Paolo

    • Pete Carroll says:

      Scope of coverage. Yes, I think Art 2.4 of the Centemero DDL would drastically modify the provision under present Art 17 of the Italian law that “mere conduit” providers are not required to monitor traffic. Italian VPN services, Proxy IP services, and ISPs, when just linking users to sites outside of Italy, could be required to run filters/blocking methods to retain “safe-harbor” protection!! The DDL only seems to cover filters for “industrial property” but once in place there would be a precedent for extension to copyright materials as well. Very dangerous. What’s interesting is that the existing Italian law stipulates that, though there is no obligation to monitor, if a service provider suspects that a third (or presumably more) of the content to which it provides access is illegal it should report that activity to the competent authorities. Given the increasing popularity of VPN and IP masking services to block ip address sniffing on p2p networks by copyright holders this could become a legal issue soon. I don’t know how many other EU countries have this one-third clause in their law.

  3. Goya says:

    Yes, as Paolo says, Article 14 is about mere conduit, and that’s ISPs.

  4. Paolo Brini says:

    Unfortunately the system filtered out the link I posted. Just in case of interest, I report the significant sentences I wished to link to complete my answer:

    “the draft law explicitly refers to copyright too in the preamble which states the scope of the amendments. It explicitly cites YouTube and search engines like Google in legal cases concerning copyright. What’s more, it cites “downloading” of copyrighted contents.

    Furthemore, I translate for you a key sentence (capital is mine):

    “The scope of this law is to integrate […] provisions of DLgs 70/2003 [transposition of 2000/31/EC] with further provisions […] in order to protect at the same time users’ security and freedom of choice, professional network operators as well as rights which are more vulnerable to infringements through the network, in primis industrial property rights AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS infringements […]”

    • Pete Carroll says:

      Paolo, Goya-
      You have both raised interesting points I would like to reply to. I’ll do my best to post a reply this weekend and further thoughts on how the Centemero proposal is certainly an attempt to severely erode the “safe harbor” provisions in the EU e-commerce directive for ISPs and others (such as operators of VPNs).

    • Pete Carroll says:

      “the draft law explicitly refers to copyright too”

      True, the preamble to the DDL cites a case about downloading on a p2p network. But the aspect of the case that is cited is the legal liability of the seed/host site if it provides a search facility or indexed list to aid the end user in gaining access to infringing material. I.e no safe-harbor if you do anything to help the end-user get access to material s/he shouldn’t download. This is why cyberlockers do not have search engines on their sites.

  5. Paolo Brini says:

    Thank you very much Mr. Carroll for your further comments.

    Actually, the draft law does not seem capable to pass the constitutionality check. Meanwhile an anonymous reader very kindly informed me that this law was proposed, identical word for word, by Centemero herself, as an amendment to a completely different law (DDL C.4059) which will go into discussion at the beginning of 2012. At the end of June that amendment was rejected because it was deemed “inadmissible” (to be inadmissibile, an amendment must have some paramount problem).

    Link to the official inadmissible amendment: http://parlamento.openpolis.it/emendamento/161765 (just to check that it is identical).

    The reasons why an inadmissible amendment is drafted again as two completely new stand-alone identical draft laws by two different MPs (MP Fava and then again after two weeks MP Centemero – both draft laws again are identical word for word between them, and they are identical to the previous amendment to DDL C.4059) after a few days goes beyond my ability to understand.

    Unless it’s a naive way to put pressure on the European Commission, since the e-Commerce Directive has been re-opened (public consultations ended a few months ago).

    That said, after the constitutionality check, there is the big issue of deep incompatibilty with 2000/31/EC, 2002/21/EC as amended by 2009/140/EC (see art. 1.3(a)), and ECHR (note that 2009/140/EC has not yet been transposed in Italy – after 4 months from the limit date, 26 May).

    Kind regards and thanks again,
    Paolo

    • Pete Carroll says:

      Yes, it’s very strange- I’d noticed too. Centemero tried to add an amendment to the bill that deals with Italy’s compliance with EU laws. I’ve quickly looked at the account for the sitting of 28/06/11

      http://leg16.camera.it/_dati/leg16/lavori/stenografici/sed492/SINTERO.pdf

      and it seems to have been ruled out along with a lot of other amendments without discussion. I wonder if anyone knows more? As to its reappearance I’m not surprised – the IP/copyright lobby in Europe is very strong and well organised. One thing would be interesting – UK MPs must declare their interests – who pays them consultancy fees, directorships they hold etc. Is there anything similiar in Italy and what is entered for Centemero & Fava?

      • Goya says:

        I doubt there is anything of that kind, or else most Italian governmental institutions would meet their downfall. 🙂

        I recall that Wikileaks cable about UCG officials organizing meetings with Italian magistrates “for over 15 years” for the sake of changing our IPR environment, and something tells me that judge from Cagliari who handled the whole BTJunkie fiasco was a frequent flyer of such meetings.

        I’d like to know what the criteria for inadmissibility are myself, but at least we know that it’s been rejected.

        What I wonder is, in a Lettera43 article, sources from MP Fava’s team said they wanted to strongly push this as amendment for the aforementioned DDL C.4059 but… uhh… what’s the point, again? Present once again an amendment which was rejected at the end of June? Like an infant that keeps insisting on having his toy, or else he’ll cry?

        The wondrous world of Italian politics…

    • Goya says:

      @Paolo

      By going into discussion at the beginning of 2012, you mean the senate? Because I thought it was already approved by the chamber.

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