Italian Court rules that P2P is not a crime if not for profit

February 2007

Record labels, internet

Italy ’s courts have ruled that peer-2-peer file swapping can only be a crime if undertaken for profit. Italy’s senior criminal court heard an appeal from two former students of Turin Polytechnic Institute, both prolific file swappers, who ran a P2P network for a short time in the mid 90s. After authorities closed down their P2P operation a lower Italian court found them guilty of the crime of ‘illegal duplication’, passing a one year jail sentence. But that conviction has been overturned on the grounds that file sharing of copyright content can only be considered a crime according to current Italian law if the people doing the sharing are profiting from the activity, which the defendants in the current case did not. It should be noted that this is a criminal case and potentially has no direct relevance to any civil suit brought against the defendants.

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