Unlicensed online music store operator in Italy faces jail sentence
Rome, 27th January 2009
The owner of an Italian website faces the prospect of a three-month prison sentence for copyright infringement after a hearing at the Turin Appeal Court. Evidence collected by the Italian Fiscal Police (GdF) proved the site was illegally using a subscription system to sell mp3 files containing tracks from well-known artists without obtaining all the necessary licenses to do so.
The charges against the defendant had previously been rejected by the Court of First Instance because he had obtained a license from the Italian Authors’ Society (SIAE). The Court of Appeal in Turin reversed this earlier decision after an appeal from the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the plaintiffs, represented by FIMI, the Italian music industry federation.
The Appeal Court ruled that, even if the authors’ rights payment had been made, the sale of music files without the authorisation of the recording companies that own the rights in the sound recordings still represents a criminal violation of copyright law. In addition to the prison term, the defendant will have to refund FIMI’s legal expenses to the total of €8,000.For further information contact:
Alex Jacob, IFPI London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7935 (Press Office)