Italy wants a licence for uploading videos on the Internet

By EDRi · January 27, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Italien wünscht eine Lizenz für das Hochladen von Videos ins Internet |]

The Italian Government intends to introduce a new decree that would require
people who upload videos onto the Internet to get authorization from the
Communications Ministry just like television broadcasters.

Article 4 of the respective decree, which is strongly pushed by Silvio
Berlusconi, specifies that a ministerial authorisation is required for the
dissemination over the Internet “of moving pictures, whether or not
accompanied by sound.” This will affect sites of newspapers, IPTV and mobile
TV, as well as any person who wants to upload a video on a video-sharing

A press conference was held by the opposition in the Parliament on 14
January 2010 who consider the proposed decree as a threat to freedom of

“The decree subjects the transmission of images on the Web to rules typical
of television and requires prior ministerial authorization, with an
incredible limitation on the way the Internet currently functions,” said
opposition lawmaker Paolo Gentiloni.

The decree was also criticised by Article 21, an organization supporting
freedom of speech as stipulated in article 21 of the Italian constitution.
The group launched an appeal on 15 January called “Hands Off the Net”
against the decree in which they state that the proposed measures would only
represent “the end of freedom of expression on the Web” and would prevent
the Italian citizens from placing their own moving pictures on the Internet.

Nicola D’Angelo, a commissioner in the Italian Communications Authority,
considers that the decree goes against the EU AudioVisual Media Services
directive by the extension of the rules that apply to television to online
video content.

Many critics consider that the decree is the result of the Prime Minister
Berlusconi’s interests as owner of Mediaset, Italy’s largest private TV

Reporters Without Borders expressed its concern regarding the decree as a
threat to freedom of expression and urged the Constitutional court to reject
it entirely.

The European Commission has also reacted, following complaints from the
Italian Associations. “The Commission services will launch an infringement
procedure for non-notification against Italy,” an EU official told He also added “the E-Commerce Directive provides that there is
no general monitoring obligation for Internet service providers”, which the
Italian new decree is contradicting. Moreover, the official made clear that
“pure video-sharing platforms do not meet the definition of an audiovisual
media service,” and therefore should not be covered by national laws “as far
as they do not exercise editorial decisions”.

Proposed Web video restrictions cause outrage in Italy (15.01.2010)

Italy proposes mandatory licenses for people who upload video (16.01.2010)

Italy proposes mandatory licenses for people who upload video

A law to change the Net into a big TV (only in Italian, 14.01.2010)

Italy wants to regulate Google and Youtube (25.01.2010)

Government wants to clamp down on online video (20.01.2010)

YouTube, EU e-commerce rules under threat (27.01.2010)