Italy Drafts 1-Strike Internet Anti-Piracy Law

ROME — Italian officials have introduced an anti-piracy law that would require Internet service providers to use filters against users who are suspected of copyright, patent or trademark infringements.

Under the law, users could be blacklisted and lose their Internet access after only one strike, reports.

The bill consisted of proposed changes to Italy’s ecommerce directive and was drafted by members of Parliament last July.

Many citizens and Internet groups oppose the legislation, saying that citizens could be unfairly disconnected from the Internet if an ISP filter picks up an alleged infringement.

"Some parts of the draft law are clearly not applicable in real life, while others have the power to crumble ISPs and hosting e-commerce," said Paolo Brini, a spokesperson for a copyright reform movement. "I firmly think that this is a 'green light' toward one-strike disconnections for any kind of infringement, not only disconnections for industrial property rights infringements."

Marietje Schaake, member of the European Parliament, has asked the E.U. Commission if Italy can legally enact a bill that allows for only one strike. Under the law, if ISPs are not compliant, they could be held civilly liable.