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Osservatorio mondiale sul file sharing

Mentre la Cina ha finalmente istituito un Comitato Permanente per la revisioine della legge sul diritto d’autore e l’Australia ha varato ormai da mesi una normativa identica a quella che in Francia l’anno scorso era stata bocciata dal Consiglio Costituzionale – normativa che prevedeva il dislaccio dell’utenza internet dopo tre avvisi rivolti a quanti violavano il diritto d’autore – nel resto del mondo si moltiplicano le iniziative a tutela del copyright.
Per esempio…

A luglio, in Svezia, saranno operativi i poliziotti del copyright: un team di nove investigatori, tecnici esperti della navigazione e del peer-to-peer, capitanati da Paul Pinter, già collaboratore della polizia di Stoccolma per i crimini informatici. Il pool sarà diviso in tre gruppi, stanziati a Stoccolma, Goteborg e Malmo.
Il rigurgito di coscienza scandinavo per aver partorito i più discussi fenomeni pirateschi, avrà il compito di individuare e stanare, attraverso un IP tracking, i condivisori di files protetti e, previa interruzione dell’accesso ad internet, denunciarli all’Autorità Giudiziaria.

Mentre i vigilantes svedesi profetizzano piazza pulita nel mondo del file sharing e del Bit Torrent, più ad ovest gli inglesi, tutt’altro che apprezzati osservatori della legge, dovranno vedersela con un sistema simile. Sembra infatti che anche qui la dottrina Sarkozy abbia gettato i suoi consensi ed ora l’isola britannica sta pensando ad una versione della “legge dei tre colpi” con “guida a destra”.
Sarà interessante vedere come i luppolomani dell’Europa aggireranno l’ostacolo.

Proprio ciò che, del sistema dei tre avvertimenti, nel vecchio continente, culla del diritto, rabbridisce di più – ossia la possibilità di staccare la connessione ad internet, e quindi privare il cittadino di una libertà fondamentale, senza l’intervento della magistratura – non preoccupa affatto gli Stati Uniti. Oltre Oceano gli Stati Federali non vanno troppo per il sottile ed accolgono con compiacimento una sentenza della Corte di Appello del Nono Circuito. Il Tribunale ha sentenziato che le forze dell’ordine non hanno bisogno di un mandato del giudice per rastrellare contenuti condivisi sul file sharing.

Dunque, se l’F.B.I. vuole perquisire la casa di un privato deve munirsi di un mandato; se invece intende perquisire virtualmente, attraverso la rete, l’hard disk di un netizen, non necessita di alcuna autorizzazione giudiziale. La ragione è semplice: secondo la Corte, chi utilizza un programma di file sharing è già consapevole che terzi – e quindi anche la polizia – possono accedere ai suoi contenuti. Se pertanto gli altri utenti della rete non devono chiedere alcuna autorizzazione al proprietario per leggere nel suo disco rigido (autorizzazione che questi ha già fornito a monte, installando il programma di file sharing), tantomeno la dovranno chiedere le forze dell’ordine.

Riportiamo infine, in lingua originale, il contenuto di un’interrogazione parlamentare, inoltrata dal liberale tedesco Jürgen Creutzmann alla Commissione Europea, cui ha risposto il commissario Reding, sui danni causati dal P2P.

QUESTION
The illegal exchange of copyrighted audiovisual works (music, films, etc) via Internet exchange sites has led to considerable declines in turnover among producers of sound and image recording media. Measures by the industry to tackle this problem (e.g. advertising campaigns, reporting of offences) have to date been unsuccessful or have encountered resistance on the part of users because they have led to restrictions on use and compatibility problems (digital rights management systems).
In order to resolve the conflict of interests between authors and users the legal introduction of a content or culture flat rate is frequently being proposed. This describes the approach of legalising the non-commercial spreading and reproduction via the Internet of digital copyrighted works, such as music, films, software or e-books, and of levying and paying to rights holders a fee by way of compensation.
The introduction of a culture flat rate would require changes to national copyright law, which are only permissible if they do not contravene provisions of European law, in particular Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (Information Society Directive). According to many legal experts, this would, however, currently still be the case, because the introduction of a legal licence for the exchange of digitalised works on the Internet for non-commercial purposes would undermine exclusivity rights guaranteed under European law — both for authors and for producers of sound recording media — and because the directive in question does not provide for exceptions in this connection. Article 5 of the Information Society Directive would have to be adapted.
1. How does the Commission view in principle the culture flat rate as a means of balancing interests between authors and users?
2. Does the Commission see a need to adapt the Information Society Directive in order to enable or facilitate amendments to national copyright law so as to introduce a culture flat rate? If so, when does the Commission plan to publish relevant proposals?
3. Does the Commission intend to submit a legislative proposal in order to introduce an EU wide culture flat rate? If so, when is this proposal to be published? Would such a culture flat rate be voluntary or compulsory for all digitalised cultural works, or only for individual types of work? According to what system would revenues be distributed to authors?

ANSWER
The Commission shares the Honourable Member’s view that a widespread violation of copyright and related rights in the Internet represents a serious threat for the further development of a flourishing creative economy.
At the same time, the Commission believes that the lifting of impediments to the cross-border online distribution of creative works will improve the supply of attractive and affordable services. In turn, this will reduce the temptation for consumers to indulge in the illicit consumption of copyright-protected material. In order to fuel the debate on how to achieve this objective, a public consultation on the basis of a Reflection Paper on Creative Content in a Digital Single Market, was recently launched.
The Reflection Paper sets out different options raised in previous consultations. It mentions, inter alia, alternative forms of remuneration at EU level, including online subscription fee models, also known as ‘cultural flat rates’. The Commission is aware that the application or introduction of alternative remuneration models would have to be preceded by a careful examination of whether such models are in compliance with several international copyright conventions, notably the Berne Convention and the Treaty on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS). The proposals made by different stakeholders concerning a ‘cultural flat rate’ also raise questions with regard to the exclusive rights and the provisions on copyright exceptions set out in Directive 2001/29/EC (‘Copyright Directive’). Further, it would be necessary to assess the long term sustainability of a creative content market using such a model. Finally, reflection on alternative forms of remunerat
ion touches upon delicate issues of how proceeds would be shared out with regard to different rights belonging to various right holders.
It is also one of the Commission’s objectives to improve the offer of legitimate services on the Internet and to ensure that the rights of all right holders are properly secured and paid for in line with EU, international and national laws.
The Commission believes that the Digital Single Market offers great opportunities for consumers, right holders and commercial users alike. At this stage, the Commission services are seeking substantiated comments and contributions on this point of the debate.

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