9 October 2008

We give thanks for not blogging in the Italian waters.

The attention of CyberPanda has been caught by an interesting case from the Italian shores covered by The Register.

Mr Carlo Ruta has been found guilty by the courts of the offence of 'stampa clandestina' which means clandestine publication, in respect of publications of posts on his blog. In the judge`s view, given that the blog had a headline, it amounted to an 'online newspaper' and hence was regulated Law 62 (which regulates online clandestine publications). Mr Ruta was fined and ordered to take down the blog.

CyberPanda is surprised by the ruling of the italian courts and does not see how a blog can be compared to a newspaper. In addition, the argument used by the courts to reach this conclusion (namely that the blog was a newspaper because it had a headline) is logically flawed. It remains to be seen whether this very illogical and harsh ruling will be followed in the future or whether this ruling was reached solely on the basis of the content of the blog in question (politics and mafia). This ruling is a step in the wrong direction as it not only curtails freedom of speech online but also the curtailment of this right, can not be supported by a logical legal/factual argument.

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