Italy wants to regulate online video content; Google says it's a bad idea

The Italian government is set to begin regulating Internet sites that stream video daily, making them answerable to the county's communications regulator and holding sites like YouTube to the same content standards as television networks.

Marco Pancini, Google's European Public Policy Counsel, told Bloomberg "It tries to give Internet service providers the same responsibilities as television networks, which manage content, while YouTube only makes its platform available."

The legislation, set to become law Jan. 27, gives the panel a broad range of control, including the authority to determine if content infringes copyright law, to order the content be taken down, and to impose fines in excess of $200,000 per occurrence.

"It's like holding the company that maintains the highways responsible for what the drivers do," said Dario Denni, head of the Italian Association of Internet Providers. "It doesn't make sense."

It does is you're Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who promoted the plan and also happens to be Italy's answer to Rupert Murdoch, a media magnate who controls the country's largest private broadcasting company - which happens to have a pending $724 million lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg report

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