Technological protection measures prevail on the right of private copying

In a recent decision, the Milan Court ruled on the coexistence, on one side, of the protection of works of authorship carried out by technological protection measures and, on the other side, of users’ right to make a private and non-commercial copy of the work. Three of the leading digital content providers (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures) have been brought in front of the Court by a group of content users who claimed the violation of Article 71-sexies L. No 633/42, related to private copying. The ruling states that the private copying constitutes "an exception to the exclusive right of reproduction, which is one of the most significant and economically important profiles of the exploitation rights." On this basis the Court ruled that there were no infringement of the right of private copying, under Article. 71-sexies L.d.a., or of other users’ rights, since the majors’ choice was techinically bonded: - on one hand, to protect their content from illegal copying through protective measures such as absolutely preventing the copy of the work; - on the other hand, to allow private copying and to endure the subsequent illegal sharing. This recent ruling deals with one of the most controversial nodes of copyright in the information society, because the legislation on the technological protection measures, introduced by the EUCD (European Union Copyright Directive, Dir 2001/29/EC) following the U.S.A. DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 2001), is promoting the distribution of digital contents throughout the Internet. On this point, however, positions are conflicting. Italy didn't remain still, as it has been shown by the recent discussions on the Cassinelli’s bill, aimed at updating the existing legislation with the dynamics of social networks and the growing demands of e-commerce.

09/30/2009 | Copyright