Italian copyright law. A momentary lack of reason?

Yesterday the Italian Parliamen passed another amendment that adds Law 633/1941 (Copyright Law) Sect 70 bis thus allowing the free publication on the Internet of protected works (music and images) for cultural purposes. The law will enter into force as soon as it will be published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (the official law list). Here is the exact text (translation is unofficial):

«1-bis. Low resolution or downgraded images and/or music publication through the Internet is allowed, for teaching and/or scientific purposes and if this use doesn’t imply an economic gain. The Minister of cultural assets – with the advice of the Minister of the university and research, and with the opinion of the concerned Parliament committees – shall set the limit to the teaching and scientific uses».

It is obvious to remark that an MP3 or a jpeg file meet – technically speaking – the requirement of the law (both are based on the concept of lowering the quality of the original file). Thus – from now on – in Italy is legal to publish on line or share through Peer-to-Peer copyrighted images and music, just meeting the requirement of “teaching and/or scientifc purposes”.

Is this an astonishing cultural achievement of Italian legislators (showing they finally have understood the main use of the Internet) that decided to fight back against entertainment lobbies’ superpowers, or an incredible essay on incompetence?

I really would like to sponsor the first answer, but I fear that the Italian Parliament simply didn’t understand what was going on…

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