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Business News (more headlines) 12-28-2013

International Recording Industry Welcomes Italian AGCOM Regulation

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IFPI welcomes the adoption by Italy's communications authority AGCOM of a new regulation that will make the internet a safer place for creative content.

The new rules empower AGCOM to order the blocking of websites dedicated to copyright infringement. They make Italy the first country in Europe where an administrative body is empowered to authorise website blocking.

Under the regulation, AGCOM will have the power to order foreign and domestic website owners to promptly remove infringing content in response to complaints from rights holders. If those sites fail to comply, AGCOM can require ISPs to block access to the infringing websites, on penalty of substantial fines.

The new regulation was adopted unanimously at a meeting of the AGCOM Council on 12th December and will come into effect on 31st March next year. AGCOM has said that measures taken against infringing sites will be taken in full consultation with website owners and network operators, and will be proportionate.

The blocking of copyright-infringing websites has proved effective in containing online piracy and reducing usage of illegal websites. In five countries in Europe where blocks were imposed on the Pirate Bay (Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Italy and the UK) usage levels fell by 69% during 2012, according to comScore/Nielsen.

Welcoming the new AGCOM regulation, IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore said: "I thank the President of AGCOM, Angelo Cardani, and the authority's staff for all their hard work in securing the new regulation. The blocking of websites that are dedicated to violating copyright has been demonstrably effective in reducing online infringement in many countries. The new rules make the internet safer for creative content and will help in the development of the legitimate digital music sector in Italy."

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