The text below is by Beppe Grillo published onhttp://www.beppegrillo.it/eng/2007/10/the_leviprodi_law_and_the_end.html
and discusses a proposed Italian law affecting site owners.
Thought that it may be of interest to the Rhizome community.
Ricardo Franco Levi, Prodi's right hand man, undersecretary to the President of the Council, has written the text to put a stopper in the mouth of the Internet. The draft law was approved by the Council of Ministers on 12 October. No Minister dissociated themselves from it. On gagging information, very quietly, these are all in agreement.
The Levi-Prodi law lays out that anyone with a blog or a website has to register it with the ROC, a register of the Communications Authority, produce certificates, pay a tax, even if they provide information without any intention to make money.
Blogs are being born every second, anyone can start one without a problem and they can write their thoughts, publish photos and videos.
In fact, the route proposed by Levi limits access to the Internet.
What young person is going to submit to all these hoops to do a blog?
the Levi-Prodi law obliges anyone who has a website or a blog to get a publishing company and to have a journalist who is on the register of professionals as the responsible director.
99% would close down.
The lucky 1% still surviving on the Internet according to the Levi-Prodi law would have to respond in the case of the lack of control on defamatory content in accordance with articles 57 and 57 bis of the penal code. Basically almost sure to be in prison.
The draft Levi-Prodi law has to be approved by Parliament. When Levi was asked what would happen to Beppe Grillo's blog, he replied with perfect Prodian-bottom-protecting words: "It's not up to he government to establish that. It'll be for the Communications Authority to indicate with regulations, which people and which companies will have to register. And the regulations will arrive only after the law has been discussed and approved by the Lower House."
Prodi and Levi take cover behind Parliament and the Beppe Grillo Communications Authority, but it's them, and the Ministers who were present at the Council of Ministers who are responsible.
If the law gets passed, it'll be the end of the Internet in Italy.