Italian prosecutor pursues The Pirate Bay

The preople behind the Swedish file sharing website The Pirate Bay could face charges in Italy as a Bergamo prosecutor continues a legal investigation.

Italian prosecutor Giancarlo Mancusis is conducting a legal investigation into the four men behind The Pirate Bay – Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström, Swedish business daily Dagens Industri (DI) reports.

The investigation is the first of its kind against The Pirate Bay outside of Sweden’s borders.

Simona Lavagnini, a lawyer representing the Italian recording industry organisation Fimi, told DI that the recent convictions of The Pirate Bay founders by the Stockholm court has strengthened their resolve.

“We see the chances of a trial in Italy reaching the same result as good,” Lavagnini told DI.

The charges under investigation are the same as those in the Stockholm court trial – accessory to copyright infringement. A conviction could lead to imprisonment of between six months and three years as well as significant fines.

The Pirate Bay has employed two IT lawyers based in Sardinia to represent their interests, DI writes.

“The case will almost definitely reach court. But I do not understand how the prosecutor can prove “accessory” to crime. Nor do I understand how this can come under Italian criminal law,” one of the lawyers, Giovanni Gallus, said to DI.

The Pirate Bay has never located any servers in Italy nor used the country as a base for its activities. They have 450,000 contacts in Italy, around 2.3 percent of the total visitors to their site.

In August 2008 Fimi sued The Pirate Bay and an Italian judge ruled that the site should be blocked in Italy. The ruling was appealed and the case will be heard by the Italian supreme court in September.

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Denmark proposes new law to make Facebook pay for news and music

The government is to forward a bill on Friday proposing tech giants such as Facebook and Google pay Danish media for using content on their platforms.

Denmark proposes new law to make Facebook pay for news and music
File photo: Regis Duvignau/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The proposal will also mean platforms used to share media, such as YouTube, will be required to make agreements with rights holders in order to display videos or music, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.

A comparable law recently took effect in Australia, resulting in all news pages being temporarily blocked for Facebook users in the southern hemisphere country.

READ ALSO: Could Denmark force Facebook to pay for news content?

“The media plays a central role in our democracy and ensures that public debate takes place on an infrormed basis,”culture minister Joy Mogensen said in the statement.

“If the media are to be able to continue making journalism, they should of course be paid for its use,” she added.

The proposal will provide for rights holders such as musicians or media outlets to be given a new publishing right which will enable them to decide who can use their content.

As such, companies like Facebook and Google will need permission to use the content online.

The Danish proposal builds on an EU directive which gives individual media outlets the right to agree deals with tech giants.

The bill put forward by Mogensen will allow Danish media to make a collective agreement with the tech companies providing for payment when their content is used.

An interest organisation for Danish media companies has backed the proposal.

“We have wanted to be able to enter collective agreements with tech giants because that would strengthen the media companies’ position,” Louise Brincker, CEO of Danske Medier, told newspaper Berlingske. Brincker noted she had not yet read the full proposal.

Media will not be obliged to make agreements with the tech companies, however. Complaints to the Danish copyright board, Ophavsretslicensnævnet, will be possible under the new law, should it be passed by parliament.

The bill will become law on June 7th should it receive the backing of a parliamentary majority.

Both Facebook and Google decline to comment to Berlingske on the matter, stating they had yet to see the bill in full.