The new prohibition


photo by Mr Wabu

Before the fact
CCTV, the Chinese TV channel, transmitted in direct, in China, football matches that had been legally bought. Synacast, a company with Chinese capital, put the signal on the Internet, apparently following an agreement with CCTV. The games of the Italian championship that were bought by CCTV, can thus be seen throughout the whole world on the Internet with P2P software for the exchange of information.

The fact, Sky and the Justice System
- Two Italian young people put links to the Chinese website on their own websites and are denounced by Sky
- Their websites are closed down by the Guardia di Finanza {Italian Finance Police} and the names of the young people are added to the register of those who are under investigation for violating the norms about authors’ rights for having allowed the viewing of Italian serie A and B championship games.
- the request is turned down by the judge and their PCs are returned to them.
- Sky doesn’t give in and an investigating magistrate takes the case to the Corte di Cassazione {High Court}. The great corporation against 2 young people.
- This blog supplies financial help for a lawyer to one of the 2 young people, Luca De Maio.

The epilogue (for now)
The Corte di Cassazione orders a new trial against the 2 young people for having “illegally spread and transmitted via the Internet using peer to peer software sports events to which Sky had exclusive rights”

Final considerations
The Corte di Cassazione has introduced the crime of linking.
Whoever inserts a link to a TV programme, a film clip, any work covered by the rights of the authors, already sold online in another country, could be put on trial.
If I use Google to search for the Chinese website and then I use the site, have I perhaps committed a judicial linking? Why isn’t Merdock not bringing an action against Google, and while he’s at it, against the Internet. How many websites in the world have links to the Chinese site?
Tens of thousands? Denounce yourselves to the Corte di Cassazione by sending them an email. Meanwhile us bloggers could help the top judges with a free introductory course about the Internet.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:54 PM in | Comments (18)
Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | TrackBack (1) |
View blog opinions


I think that SKY has no case.

First: CCTV is the official Chinese TV Network. They control TV broadcasts and distribution in China and for the chinese worldwide through their Internet venture ... and that amounts to 1 out of every 5 persons in the world. So, CCTV had legal right to boradcast those soccer games on their platform.

Second. The two Italian guys only provided a link to the Chinese site. So, in that case GOOGLE, YAHOO, MSN, ALTAVISTA, AOL ... etc ... should also be account liable. They are not, since they did not engaged on copy or distribution of a third party content. Besides, the content was on the CCTV site, so intead of SKY, it makes more sense that CCTV gets upset. And that is not the case.

... so, there is no case against the two italian guys. I am sure that if this info. comes in Italy and elsewhere to mainstream media, with a note inviting SKY suscribers to cancel their service, SKY would get very worried and stop harrasing people with innovation.

Posted by: Armando Guerra | July 1, 2007 08:40 AM

From what I gather in this whole story, I think one might consider this incident as another form of persecution. Mind you, on many Chinese and extra-EU sites a lot of illegal activity goes on. One has to check the nature of the Chinese site. Is it a normal site or a one that contains hacking, cracking, warez, appz, etc.?

In short, if the site is a legal Chinese site that broadcasts Internet TV, I see no reason why there should be all this hype by Sky. Of course, Sky wants all those monthly Euros in order to continue with their mess and to thicken even more merduous Murdock's pockets.

To prosecute two teenagers/youngsters takes us back to the times of Oliver Twist. This is a parody of justice. There are other more pressing issues that need to be seen to and investigated.

On another note, what do you think of the new law proposing taking off one channel from RAI and one from Mediaset? Aren't there more hot issues at the moment, like the budget, for example...???

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | October 17, 2006 08:40 PM

Merdock can kiss my ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 17, 2006 05:25 PM

Again, this has nothing to do with hotlinking, it's the Murdochian Lawyer Squad trying to extend the laws way beyond the actual boundaries...

However, if this does become law (or the way a law will be interpreted), it's opens a whole new can of worms. Imagine being able to take Beretta to court because someone shot your brother? After all, they didn't pull the trigger, but they certainly provided the means for someone to do so..

Oh wait, what am I thinking, they're a corporation, no one can do that to them.

Posted by: Nick W | October 17, 2006 03:37 PM

I can't believe that a permission is needed to put a link on my web site to another web site.
"Hotlinking" has nothing to do with this case, because in that case you were linking a image on your website which is resident on another site, and this image will appear on your website too.
In this case we have only a simple link, which allows the users to reach the chinese website.
I think it's different.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 17, 2006 01:16 PM

If you are kind enough to bare with my ignorance once more....

1)I do a search on a search engine, find the Chinese site and watch the sports games = this is fine.
2)I do a search,find the site of those two guys who have been allowed to have a simple link to the chinese site and again watch the games = fine,too.

In both cases I am not using where is the problem???

I think linking is the shoud be given permition to link or not this the case here????

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 17, 2006 12:07 PM

Usually, this sort of thing is protected under the banner of free speech.

These 2 guys do not have actual copies of these matches, and are not distributing the copies in any form (at least that wasn't mentioned, they could be sharing them via P2P..). They are only linking to a place where these files are available.

IMHO, there is absolutely nothing illegal in their actions (if their actions are what Beppe has described).

The Hotlinking issue has nothing to do with it, the whole Hotlinking issue is one of ad revenue, sites don't want people to link directly to news stories, they want people to pass through the front page, and see all the ads.

This is an issue of free speech, anyone can point out a source of illegal files/information/whatever, but the fact is, that does not make you in any way responsible for that information being there. The only people responsible are the ones who chose to do something illegal with that resource, either the people distributing it (primarily) and those using it (secondarily). It's incredible that they are trying to hold these people responsible for what amounts to a signpost.

Posted by: Nick W | October 17, 2006 10:51 AM

Yet another "term" I had to look up...:o)
"Hotlinking is illegal"...!!!
This is one of many sites I read info on the subject:

a search would provide 100s more...

So, I am still a bit confused about this case here....
Maybe we should wait and see before we carry on nagging...(!!)

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 17, 2006 09:11 AM

Paola, what the 2 guys did was just "hotlinking" another web site on theirs.

If Merdock intends to condemn that, it will sound like putting a duct tape on everybody's mouth.

This should not take place.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 17, 2006 01:17 AM

Hallo!here in Australia the broadcast laws are changing too,I do not know things in details,but it seems all the sports programm that used to be free,are going to be into pay channel,channel ten (a private channel) is doing advertaising to stop this,it will be interesting to see what will happen,I do not think many australian will pay to see sports,this is globalized tv,we should all refuse to pay.ciao :-)))

Posted by: evakulnura | October 17, 2006 01:05 AM

I cannot argue as I don't really know much about computers or about this case.

However I still think there is something more to it than just a simple link....

This Peer2peer thing is still bothering me because,from what I read it does not have the notion of a simple client or server idea (as it says on Wikipedia) as oposed to the link notion...

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 17, 2006 12:18 AM

Paola: this P2P software, from what I understand, is on the chinese website, the italian guys put only a link on their italian website to the chinese one.
I tink the two guys didn't use P2P software directly, but indirectly, through their link, and I don't think they can be prosecuted by law because of this.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 16, 2006 11:36 PM

I am far from being and expert (not even in my dreams) but I think there is something in the terminology that is not right...

"Peer to peer" means something and I have the impression that this is the point on Sky is basing its case...

From what I understand it is not a case of a simple link to the chinese site but something more complicated.

If I am showing my computer ignorance here PLEASE could someone correct me ???

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 16, 2006 11:15 PM

Mein Gott!
Ich dachte ich hatte meine Zentralfuerungsblockhebeluebersetzung richtig eingestellt!;-))))

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 16, 2006 11:04 PM

Raf: du brauchst deine spindeltrommelverriegelung einstellen.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 16, 2006 10:43 PM

Let me say it in German:
Sie sind total verrueckt!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 16, 2006 10:21 PM

This is against the freedom of speech!

I bet this is also uncostitutional.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 16, 2006 09:08 PM

I wonder if providing a link to a link to another link on a non-Italian site, perhaps where Sky does not have the rights to show Italian football would get round this silliness. Sounds as though Sky's lawyers dropped a bit of a clanger (fatto una cavollata) when they drew up the contract with the Chinese telly company.
I wonder what would happen if everyone in Italy were to provide links to the Chinese site?? Would 100,000 people end up in court? Let's hope this silly case gets thrown out and Sky admits to having made a silly mistake.

Posted by: Alex R | October 16, 2006 06:47 PM

Post a comment

Beppe Grillo's Blog is an open space for you to use so that we can come face to face directly. As your comment is published immediately, there's no time for filters to check it out. Thus the Blog's usefulness depends on your cooperation and it makes you the only ones responsible for the content and the resulting outcomes.

Information to be read before using Beppe Grillo's Blog

The following are not allowed:
1. messages without the email address of the sender
2. anonymous messages
3. advertising messages
4. messages containing offensive language
5. messages containing obscene language
6. messages with racist or sexist content
7. messages with content that constitutes a violation of Italian Law (incitement to commit a crime, to violence, libel etc.)

However, the owner of the Blog can delete messages at any moment and for any reason.
The owner of the Blog cannot be held responsible for any messages that may damage the rights of third parties Maximum comment length is 2,000 characters.
If you have any doubts read "How to use the blog".

Post a comment (English please!)

First name and Surname*:

Email Address*:
We remind you that anonymous messages (without real first name and surname) will be cancelled.

* Compulsory fields

Send to a friend

Send this message to *

Your Email Address *

Message (optional)

* Compulsory fields


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The new prohibition:

» Internet Television: Corporate TV Goes After P2P Networks from Robin Good's Latest News
The phenomenon of Internet television is rising many controversies among the supporters and owners of traditional corporate TVs, because of the potentially devastating changes it might provoke in the mass media world. The unstoppable growth of the onli... [Read More]