Monday, October 22, 2007

GOING - GAGA - GAGGED

UPDATE: 23.10.07, 6.30 PM: Corriere's online edition has this, in which the minister proposing the law has stated categorically that no gagging of bloggers is intended and that the law will only apply to professional online publishing, bringing the law for online newspaper editions into line with that for printed versions. An amendment making this clear is to be announced tomorrow. However, it is my opinion that an ambiguity remains: how do you define a "private blog?" Could blogs which carry even a little advertising be judged "professional", for instance?
It has happened in China, there have been attempts in the US, blogs in Burma have been shut down and in Britain a rich businessman has attempted to have parts of the blogosphere silenced. James has been warning us all for ages, I have to say. Now we have this in Italy: if this ridiculous ddl [draft law] is passed, a blogger like me will have to appoint an editor and a registered journalist as editor in chief, register the blog with the government, produce a myriad documents and pay taxes on it! I am not joking! Thank goodness for Beppe Grillo who has hard-hitting articles on the proposal here and here. I think this crazy idea is less to do with censorship than with certain ministers having espied a source of possible revenue.


12 comments:

jmb said...

This is so bizarre. The rules are impossible to comply with so how much revenue can you squeeze out of nothing. Lt's hope it's a trial balloon.

Lee said...

Whaaaaat???? How bloody ridiculous!

Eurodog said...

This is ridiculous.

Ellee Seymour said...

This is totally unbelievable, let's hope something can be done to stop it going ahead.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Jmb,Ellee, let's hope so indeed! Lee, eurodog, my reaction exactly! I am comforting myself with the thought that, this being Italy, the application of such a law is unlikely to be either efficient or quick!

Sen. Peter Higham Paul said...

This "intention not to gag blogs" - and what else does it do, I ask. As for the amendment tomorrow, now that they've tested the waters and found we all bit, is that it's not for private blogs. And what is that? Blogs which make no political comments whatsoever?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, James. I ask myself the same questions. When asked who will have to register with the government, the minister replied "anyone who publishes online as a job". Well, that could be interpreted in several ways and only the other day he implied that everybody who has a site would need to register and then the registration authority would decide who has to pay taxes, etc. But I still think the intention here is to generate revenue rather than to censor. Now, of course, the Ital gov is realising it risks becoming the laughing stock of the world over this.

Liz said...

Cpuld Bloggers bring the Italian bureaucracy to its knees if every single one applied?

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

I hope not.

Oh well, welshcakes, do let me know if you can't read my blog in Italy one day!

You can't in China...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Liz. We probably could! Ciao, Crushed. It would be a sad day indeed if I couldn't read your blog!

jams o donnell said...

What a ridiculous law. What is the likelihood of it being voted down or changed s it is a bit more sensible?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jams. Well, it has ostensibly been amended today - but I'm not convinced!

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