Italian minister in favour of file-sharing

By EDRi · April 21, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Italienischer Minister als File-Sharer |]

The Italian Minister of Internal Affairs Roberto Maroni has recently
expressed his disapproval of three-striles solutions for file-sharers and
admitted he was one of the people that downloaded music from the Internet,
free of charge. He had already made a similar statement in 2006.

Maroni, a musician himself, confesed to Panorama magazine that he was doing
this as “a provocation, because I believe that the solution is not the
French one to cut the Internet connection of those illegally downloading
music. The solution is to create a site where the youth may download music
for which the copyrights are guaranteed by one or more sponsors”.

The minister believes the French three-strikes sistem is a disproportionate
measure which does not function. In his opinion, since the Hadopi law was
adopted in France, the amount of illegal downloading has increased. He
believes that downloading music for free is not a crime and people should be
able to do it. He insisted that getting music by this method was not like
stealing from the supermarket as the music industry had suggested. What
people are doing is getting a copy of what someone else has placed on a

“It is as if the owner of this computer where I’m going to take the music
from did a copy of a CD he bought and gave it to me, something that normally
happens when we buy a CD and make copies for our friends,” he stated.

Obviously, FIMI, the Italian branch of the IFPI (International Federation of
the Phonographic Industry), reacted to Maroni’s statements: “A few million
music tracks legally downloaded for free, over a billion click-free videos
on Youtube by officers of Italian artists, more than 90% of individual files
sold at less than one euro from dozens of platforms. The Minister should
consider the risk to jobs and loss of revenues to the state because of
digital piracy,” stated FIMI.

Maroni’s position comes following a document recently issued by AGCOM, the
Italian Communications Regulatory Authority, which clearly reveals that
illegal downloading does not produce the economic damage claimed by the
music industry. Moreover, the paper shows that political repression and
surveillance are anti-constitutional, unnecessary and harmful. The authority
suggests there should be a balance between the remuneration of authors and
the people’s right to culture and knowledge and advocates for an extended
collective licensing.

AGCOM offers some solutions and believes that a dialogue with the market
should be started in order to promote a culture of access to legal digital
content, to find business models that would ensure fair remuneration for all
industry players as well as access to the widest possible content for users.
Appropriate measures should be found to prevent and combat illegal actions.
The measures applied presently are inconsistent with the law related to
privacy, right of access to the Internet and the principle of net

Maroni, the minister is a pirate (only in Italian, 9.04.2010)

And Maroni downloads music from the web (only in Italian, 9.04.2010)

Maroni: Downloading mp3 is not a crime (only in Italian, 10.04.2010)

AGCOM report on “piracy”: better to legalize than repress (only in Italian,

IFPI Upset As Italian Minister Admits He’s A File-Sharer (13.04.2010)