In an action that has become known as “A Monster from Rome”, the Italian
Public Prosecutor of Rome ordered on 15 April 2013 the blocking of 27
file-sharing related sites at the request of Sunshine Pictures, the
Italian distributor of the French animated film “A Monster in Paris”.
The list which has been made public includes mainly storage and
streaming sites such as Rapidgator, one of the world’s largest
file-hosting sites, Uploaded, BitShare, NowVideo, NowDownload,
VideoPremium, QueenShare and ClipsHouse. The prosecutor has already
warned that he intends to extend the action internationally to properly
seize the respective domains.
“I think that operations like this one could jeopardize freedom of
speech, and endanger legitimate web sites, being also a risk for the
civil liberties. Copyright cannot be considered as a more essential
right than freedom of expression, or a more important matter than a free
and open internet,” stated Fulvio Sarzana, a lawyer with the Sarzana and
Partners law firm specializing in Internet and copyright disputes, which
has been hired by Rapidgator to fight back.
The action also seems extremely disproportionate considering that such a
large-scale operation was triggered by the complaint of a small film
distributor for just a single cartoon movie which cannot possibly
justify the seizure of so many big sites which also contain legal files.
According to Suzana, a number of ISPs have already filed appeals against
the current blocking order.
For the time being the list of blocked sites does not include BitTorrent
sites and the domains are blocked only on the DNS level which means that
the sites can be accessible if users switch to OpenDNS or Google DNS.
Massive BitTorrent and Cyberlocker Domain Crackdown Underway (Updated)
Crackdown on File sharing. Rapidgator and ISPs Appeal Domain Name
Blockade and Seizure (19.04.2013)
Domain names blocking measures of the Italian Authorities (only in Italian)
Italy, maxi-sequester of sharing, in progress (only in Italian, 15.04.2013)
Rapidgator, appeal against the seizure (18.04.2013)