Editorial Director: Giusella Finocchiaro
Web Content Manager: Giulia Giapponesi

posted by admin on marzo 23, 2011

Consumer rights

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The Italian Privacy Authority has again ruled on questions of telemarketing determining the obligation for telephone companies to inform both their new and already existing customers about procedures to register with the Public Register of Objections, also known as the Robinson list, which is a list of customers who wish to refuse permission to marketing operators to use their telephone numbers.

As we have already previously reported, with the activation of the Register of Objections, provided for by DPR 178/2010, Italy has switched over to the opt-out system of transmission of marketing phone calls. The new system allows marketing operators to call without customer approval unless customers are registered with the Public Register of Objections.

In order to appropriately inform citizens, the Authority has established that telephone companies must send their customers an information handout with an explanation of the procedures for registering their phone numbers on the Robinson list, namely; by ordinary mail, by freephone number, by e-mail, fax or directly on the website.

The obligation to inform users is provided for by a provision shortly to appear in the Official Gazette.

We should remind you that registration in the Register of Objections can only be made for those telephone numbers that appear in public telephone directories or yellow pages. Therefore, mobile numbers and those numbers which are not in public directories will not be able to benefit from the request to entirely stop marketing calls.

If a user receives further unwanted calls any time after two weeks from registering on the list, he has the right to report the marketing operator to the appropriate Authorities. Should the infringement of the right to objection be confirmed according to the terms set out in d.P.R. 178/2010, the operator would incur a fine of from €30,000 to €180,000, rising to €300,000 in the most severe cases (see law No 162, paragraph 2-quarter of the Privacy Code).

posted by admin on gennaio 12, 2011

Internet control

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There has been a certain amount of concern on the web due to the Authority’s deliberation regarding the regulation of audiovisual and radio online services,published at the end of 2010.

The most widely criticized aspect of the regulation is the possibility of its being applied equally to all audiovisual media providers. Therefore it would affect YouTube and traditional audiovisual media providers, such as television broadcasters. In point of fact this regulation will be applied to all commercial audiovisual media services which exceed 100.000 euros per year income derived from advertising, Tv-shopping, sponsorships, contracts with public and private bodies, public funding and pay-per-view offers.

This regulation will also affect user generated content website organizations when they have editorial responsibility and also indirectly or directly generate economic profits from their activities.

According to the Authority’s second deliberation, the concept of “editorial responsibility” also includes a video cataloguing service provided by such user generated content sites. Simple automatic indexing of audiovisual content also appears to be included in the definition.

Thus, the regulation would appear to exclude small Web Tvs and amateur videoblogs, but it would include video portals such as YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion and so on. Such sites will now be subject to the same legal obligations fulfilled by television networks, among which direct responsibility for audiovisual content.

In particular, new obligations for the major audiovisual content websites will therefore include the obligation of rectification within 48 hours, the protection of minors, and copyright infringement responsibility.

According to many analysts, the concept of editorial responsibility will in future play an increasingly important role in all those trials in which broadcasters and copyright owners claim compensation and removal of content from video sharing sites.

Some experts have also raised the question of the difficulty in applying norms which are traditionally applied to television, such as the introduction of safe time slots for children.

However, there are serious doubts as to whether the Authority’s regulation could be effectively applied to websites operating in other countries of the European Economic Zone.

 

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