Downloading music from internet
by Michele Cancelieri
Italy is among the greatest offenders when it comes to illegal downloading of music from the internet in violation of copyright laws and abusing musician’s rights.
Many people assume that if you do it for your personal use without making money from it, you are not committing a violation. But it is not true. Sharing musical files without profit, like when you use “file sharing” programs such as BitTorrent or others, can get you a fine up to € 2.065,00. On top of that, you get another fine of € 103,00 for every file shared.
On the other hand, if you simply download music from the Internet without sharing it, the fine will be € 154,00. But if you are caught doing that many times with lots of music, the fine will go up to € 1.032,00 and your music and downloading programs will be confiscated.
In the last few years, the Italian Justice System ordered to confiscate many web sites dedicated to free sharing movies and music protected by the author rights. In one case, a “pirate” who was sharing thousands of files got a fine for € 340.000.00.
The law seems to be getting looser though, to the relief of downloading fanatics. As strange as it may seem, last march a report from the European Commission stated that these forms of piracy are not really endangering the music industry. Their reasoning? “People who illegally download won’t be buying the official music anyway”.