Italy's top criminal court has ruled that downloading music, movies and software over the Internet isn't a crime if profit isn't the motivation. The question is, will the ruling have an effect on copyright laws? The Italian agency that monitors copyright issues, known by the acronym SIAE, said in a statement that the ruling did not bring any "revolutions" in terms of author's rights. Analysts have said that violating a copyright, for example by breaking copy-protection technologies in place, remained illegal even if downloading the material has been decriminalized.
"I consider this sentence as a very intermediate step in clarifying what is legal and what is not legal. This sentence marks an important step in that peer-to-peer per se is not an illegal activity. What stays and remains illegal is copyright infringement by cracking copyright files, and distributing it for commercial purposes," said analyst Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffe.