Rumors say that mr. Bersani (DS) currenty Minister of economic growth, is pushing to make “certified e-mail” use mandatory for companies and professionals. Confirmation came when the Parliament rejected – de facto – the proposal, by making certified e-mail usage an option thanks to an amendment proposed by a leftist MP, Maurizio Acerbo (Rifondazione Comunista).
“Certified e-mail” (a borbonic and bureaucratic tech-crap) is a method to give “legal value” and “certain timestamp” to an e-mail message. There are plenty of ways to achieve this result with a minimum economic and technical effort, but Italy choose the opposite.
Should Mr. Bersani atteimpt be succesful, it would have been an EU forbidden State’s support to private companies since only a couple or so of big entities (namely Postecom and Infocamere) would have had substantial benefit from an artificially created market-niche.
Here is (Italian only) the Parliament session trascription addressing the issue.
Network veterans – those who “were there” before the Internet came – will tell you that Second Life is nothing new. A contemporary re-play of “old style” Fidonet Matrix, command-line IRC, newsgroups and mailing-lists, with a more fashionable look. A “virtual place” where people go social.
I don’t share this point of view. Instead of a “game”, Second Life is a “place” where people do duplicate Life in her whole latitude. Misery and class-fight included.
The early netizen gained trust and confidence by writing. Relationships were built – as Giancarlo Livraghi wrote – on soul, before than body. Second Life, on the contrary, replicates the ordinary social mechanisms. With the help of graphics components people hide – again – the “soul” and just focus on the “body”: fast car, “kool guyz”, fashionable suits… a whole “separate universe” where seek for relief from the pain of living.
If your life is miserable, why the hell would you like to buy a second (alike) one, instead of improving what you already got?
A side issue arising from the Peppermint affaire is the relationship between criminal and civil trials rule of evidence.
In a criminal investigation, access to ISP owned traffic data and log files is possible only with a public prosecutor search and seize warrant. One seized, these information are strictly confidential and cannot disclosed – even to the defense counsel – before the trial starts.
The very same data – as the Peppermint affaire shows – can indeed be obtained by a private entity alleging a civivl – not criminal, then – copyright infringement, just asking the civil court to force an ISP to disclose information.
This is a paradox of the Italian legal system, since criminal action is supposed to be the only reason to allow the breach of constitutional rights, while the a civil case only gives the court limited powers. This common-sense rule has been subverted when talking about copyright. Is it fair or acceptable?
As I mentioned in a previous post, Peppermint Records GmBH a German record label started a legal action against about 3.000 Italian internet users “accused” of illegally sharing its copyrighted material – namely, a song. The label was able to obtain a (questionable) court order to force a major Italian Telco to disclose the identity of the customers whose ADSL line was – allegedly – used to commit that “devious crime”.
Next step has been a flood of letters from an Italian law firm located in Bolzano (a place with a strong german-speaking minority – or, better, majority) asking, on behalf of Peppermint Record – for a compensation of 330,00 Euros, as sine qua to drop the legal action.
Continue reading “An update on the Peppermint affaire“
Marketing geniuses strike back. Buy a printer (expensive, BTW) bundled with a supplies agreement bundled, and, only after paid the device, discover that you need a password to have your own printer working. How do you get the password? Easy: subscribe the supplies agreement at a non-negotiable price, and “own” the printer as soon as you pay for the supplies agreement. The bottom line: you think you do own a printer, while actually don’t. That’s what happens – in short – if you purchase a Xerox printer with the PAGEPACK option.
Continue reading “Kidnapped by your own (XEROX) printer”