An update on the Peppermint affaire

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.

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Kidnapped by your own (XEROX) printer

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.

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Telecom Italia’s new Barons: an Italian Zaibatsu?

Once AT&T retired its offer, the future of Telecom Italia seems to rely upon Intesa Sanpaolo’s bid (probably the biggest italian bank). Should this scenario become true, the result would be a sort of Zaibatsu.

The interesting thing is that to avoid the monopoly, the Italian governement and the Ministry of communication, On. Gentiloni (Margherita) are creating an enormous conglomerate.

Will that helps promoting free market?

Telecom Italia: is gov’t “unbundling” the network a right choice?

Sometimes they strike back. Italian Prime Minister on. Romano Prodi and the Ministry of communication, on. Paolo Gentiloni are talking again about the idea of “unbundle” the telephone network propriety from the service provided through the lines. It seems that the chosen model would be the UK way: a public company “owns” the wires, while the operators (including Telecom Italia) will compete on the market services.

It might have been the former mr. Prodi’s governement mistake to sell Telecom Italia the telephone network, but nevertheless it doesn’t seem that fair – now – to take the network back, thus reducing ex lege the value of a company. This “pendulum-based” approach (swinging back and forth from private to public ownership) it is not a good signal for both the market and the foreign investor who will continue staring at Italy as an unreliable country to do business with (or in.)

Truth is that Italy is paying the almost total lack – in the last 15 years – of a telecommunications political strategy. Television market has been, is and will be politicians main concern, while lasting everything else back.

Pretending that a problem doesn’t exist is not an option, because – it is just matter of time – the bill always come at the end of the dinner.

Fastweb. Again!

That’s incredible! Fastweb answered the Data Protection Authority questions by claiming to ignore  who was calling me on its behalf, and not to have any personal data belonging to me. A few days after (March, 26) I got a NEW CALL from “Fastweb Commercial Department” trying to sell something.

I’ve reported againg this new fact to the Authority, and now I’m really courious to see who – between Fastweb and the Authority – is better “nuts-equipped”.

More to come…