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Italo pols strike down anti-piracy bill

Move sparks protests from showbiz orgs

ROME — A bill dubbed Italy’s Stop Online Piracy Act has been struck down by parliament, sparking protests from the country’s entertainment industry orgs.

The bill would have forced local websites to remove illegal content as soon as they become aware of its existence, even if alerted by a private citizen, rather than by court order.

Confindustria Cultura Italia, which reps the film and TV industry, called parliament’s bipartisan rejection of the bill by a large majority “a missed opportunity to fight piracy.” It had been blasted by opponents as a gag order.

In a statement, CCI said the bill would have put Italy in line with EU norms.

“If someone is made aware that they are distributing content that does not belong to them, then they should immediately be held accountable,” it lamented in a statement.

Online piracy in Italy is among the highest in the world, accounting for losses of $670 million a year, according to a recent estimate by the country’s Audiovisual Antipiracy Federation.

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