Why it matters: Piracy is a particularly serious issue in Italy's streaming market, and the current government is clearly interested in doing something about it. There's a new anti-piracy law in Italy, which provides the regulator and competition authority for communications with potentially very effective tools to disrupt the illegal IPTV business.
A new law was recently passed by the Italian parliament without a hitch, and the Authority for Communications Guarantees has now approved the rules highlighting its new powers. AGCOM's deliberation (680/13/CONS) is the agency's main "rule book" regarding online copyright. The changes approved by both chambers of the Italian parliament concern the fight against unauthorized IPTV offerings of live sports events.
Both markets (online piracy and sports events) enjoy widespread popularity among Italian netizens, so the recently approved law is bound to have some actual effect on the IPTV piracy business.
Users of pirate IPTV services could risk identification, too, as the law includes a fine up to €5,000 for viewers. Recent estimations say that around 25% of Italian adult users consume some pirate IPTV streams in a year, so AGCOM's new powers could provide some interesting effects in the months and years to come.
The anti-piracy law amendments provide the agency with the power to issue "dynamic injunctions" against pirate IPTV services, blocking user access to unlawful live streaming within the first 30 minutes of the event. AGCOM can now block DNS resolution of domain names and traffic routing for IPs that are "unambiguously" identified as belonging to unlawful activities.
The new measures are in line with the recommendations issued by the European Union about dynamic injunctions, and will become effective on August 8, 2023. AGCOM says the law will now give the agency power over both sport and non-sport related pirate streams, as internet providers will be required to quickly answer to its blocking requests.
Furthermore, after blocking the streaming services, ISPs will need to send a report to the Public Prosecutor's Office at the Court of Rome. The report should include detail on the activities carried out to fulfill AGCOM's requests, plus "any existing data" that could be useful to track and identify the pirate service providers.
If an internet provider doesn't comply with the authorities' orders, the company will be sanctioned with an administrative fine of €10,620 to €265,000. Those involved in unlawful streaming services could face up to three years in prison, plus a fine up to €15,000.