snafu on Sun, 24 Feb 2002 13:57:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Indymedia Italy under attack

Hi Heiko,

The law you are referring to was definitively approved in April 2001. It 
was extending the national law on the press (approved in 1948) to the 
Internet. On the basis of that law, all the periodical publications have to 
be registered at the Tribunal of Rome. In order to register, you have to 
give to the Tribunal the name of an "Accountable Director", who in turn has 
to be member of the National Order of the Journalists, at least as a 
publicist. The power of the National Order of the Journalists in Italy is 
immense and it is functional to draw a big line between so called 
"professional journalists" and all the others (publicists or pure 
collaborators). This division is expressed not only in terms of guarantees 
-- the professional journalist is usually employed, the collaborator is a 
free lance -- but also in terms of real money (free lances are paid nothing 
and usually with a delay of months).

The extension of the law to the web was an attempt to force big portals 
(such as Kataweb-Repubblica,, Supereva, etc) to recognize the 
"journalist profession" and to compensate subsequently hundreds of people 
who work as their colleagues of the press, but with much less guarantees. 
The law of course was not written properly and there are some ambiguities 
that will be sorted out only with the first definitive sentences of the 
Italian Magistrature (Corte di Cassazione).

In any case, if it is pretty unluckily that web sites that are not 
producing regular news and information will have to register, it is quite 
possible that web sites like Indymedia will be asked to register and to 
give the name of an "accountable director". Needless to say how ridiculous 
this measure is for an open-publishing web site where 90% of the 
informations are unfiltered.

In any case, since last April i haven't heard of any case of 
web-incrimination on the basis of that law.



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