Italy taking French lessons in copyright law

Ministry of Culture inks deal on anti-piracy efforts

ROME -- Italy, in the process of modernizing and updating its aged laws protecting its intellectual property laws, says it will follow the French model for guaranteeing such rights against piracy.

Italy's Ministry of Culture on Tuesday signed an agreement with French officials to cooperate on anti-piracy efforts, and Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi said that Italian laws will follow the French model of providing tight protection for intellectual property and providing specific protections for specific types of technologies.

Italian anti-piracy and intellectual property protection laws have been criticized as outdated, in some cases dating to the 19th century, and the problem of pirated films, music, and computer software is more severe in Italy than in most of Western Europe.

The Italian government has said that confronting the problem of piracy and other intellectual property abuses a priority. Government officials held high-level discussions on the topic at both the Venice Film Festival and its Rome counterpart in 2008, and the Italian parliament has debated measures at least twice in 2008. But so far, little has been done.

The agreement with French officials and Bondi's announcement that the government will seek to develop along the lines of the French model are the first indications of how Italy would like to see its regulation structure develop in the coming years.