ISPs Launch Legal Attack On Italy’s Pirate Shield

The copyright industry’s war on the Internet and its users has gone through various stages.

Italy has been at the forefront of this approach.

In 2014, the country’s national telecoms regulator, Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (Authority for Communications Guarantees, AGCOM) allowed sites to be blocked without the need for a court order. More recently, it has set up an automated blocking system called Piracy Shield. Rather surprisingly, according to a post on TorrentFreak, AGCOM will not check blocking requests before it validates them – it will simply assume they are justified and set the system in motion:

Once validated, AGCOM will instruct all kinds of online service providers to implement blocking. Consumer ISPs, DNS providers, cloud providers and hosting companies must take blocking action within 30 minutes, while companies such as Google must block or remove content from their search indexes.

It’s a very unfair, one-sided copyright law, which assumes that people are guilty until proven innocent. That tilting of the playing field may prove Pirate Shield’s undoing. As another post on the TorrentFreak site explains:

An ISP organization has launched a legal challenge against new Italian legislation that authorizes large-scale, preemptive piracy blocking. Fulvio Sarzana, a lawyer representing the Association of Independent Providers, informs TorrentFreak that the measures appear to violate EU provisions on the protection of service providers and the right to mount a defense.

It would be nicely ironic if the very extremism of the copyright industry, which always wants legal and technical systems biased in its favor, and with as few rights as possible for anyone else, might see the latest incarnation of its assault on the digital world thrown out.

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