Italian Court: Downloading OK if not for Profit

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.

Link: Forum Discussion (Thanks Adversedeviant)
News source: MSNBC

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great. now every shmoe who thinks that downloading isn't stealing has been given some ammunition. look, i hate the riaa (who doesn't?). but, just because they are jackbooted thugs extorting monies using their corporate machines, doesn't mean that my stealing isn't stealing. (and don't get me started on your stealing, which is much worse! :P). i like the car-stealing analogy: if i steal a car but don't intend to sell it for a profit, does that make it not-stealing? hells no! likewise, if you steal a song but don't intend to sell it to your friends, it's still stealing.

btw, i download my share of music. i just don't candy-coat what i'm doing.

i'm actually quite flabbergasted that the italians could be so wrong about this. well, maybe not: i guess the watermark of socialism lives on in post-mussolini italy. besides, who can afford 850 quadrillion lira (99 cents) for a song. it sounds so expensive...

When you steal a car, you've taken the physical product. The loss is actual and quantifiable. The owner or third parties are forced to replace the car, at their cost. The owner is inconvenienced and distressed.

When you steal music off the internet, you've taken intellectual property. The loss is theoretical and unquantifiable. Since no physical product has been stolen, no physical loss is incurred. To prove there was a loss, you have to prove that a pirate would have purchased the IP if piracy wasn't possible. The owner isn't inconvenienced since piracy relies upon unauthorised duplication. They still have their music, but now somebody else has it too.

So no, piracy isn't stealing, either according to wider society or the law. It's called copyright infringement for a reason. The people who are pushing the "piracy is theft" tag are the RIAA, MPAA and their sister organisations elsewhere in the world.

there is a misunderstanding: that sentence is about a fact before of the in-famous "decreto urbani" (2004).
before this law it was illegal but was not criminal to use or share something for non-profit (for money or something in exchange).
from 2004 in Italy everything become criminal: you have a trial and you have to pay as well as you kill somebody like in all the other "modern" countries.

The court said it was still okay to fine someone who shared music or downloaded. In fact there's a law thats I think set to pass to introduce fines. The ruling was that its not considered a crime.

So basically, only the downloading of music has been legalized (if its not for profit). MOST movies and software (except freeware) come with copyright protection which make it illegal to break or share.

this just means that if your caught downloading software/music for personal use and not to make a profit on it, you wont get a criminal record...you can still be charged.