Italy has made transferring content via the Internet without the permission of the copyright holder a criminal offence
The Italian parliament yesterday voted in favour of imposing jail sentences of up to three years on anyone caught uploading or downloading unauthorised copyright material to and from the Net. The move comes in direct response to the rise of P2P services such as Kazaa and Gnutella, and was prompted by the country's film industry.
Until now, Italy's copyright laws, which date back to 1941, have focused on protecting copyright holders from those who seek to profit financially from the unauthorised duplication of content. The new law extends that to anyone who performs such an act, whether for financial gain or not.
In short, by sharing music for free, Italian P2Pers risk punishment almost as severe as if they had attempted to sell pirate CDs.
News source: The Register