Music and fines, a hot summer
Rome – The news came a few hours ago: the civil court of Siena sentenced a cultural association found guilty of hiring large quantities of musical compact discs without authorization, at a penalty that can be defined as exemplary.
The magistrates have inflicted one on the Association record penalty 700 thousand euros to be returned to record companies, plus a further 150 thousand euros in moral damages. Not only that, the convicted body will deliver all its media to the record companies and will also have to publish the full sentence in some national newspapers.
According to a reconstruction of the case, the Association has provided on loan to its members, defined as “customers” by the prosecution, thousands of CDs: an activity that would have led a large number of people to take advantage of the rental. Approximately 10 thousand compact discs .
However, that of these hours is only the latest in a series of news on the unauthorized use of music that have heated up the Italian summer.
In fact, in mid-August, the joint operation of the Guardia di Finanza and the State Police which led to the complaint of nine disk jokey in the Riccione and Marano area for use and possession of compact discs which according to the investigators were illegally burned, without the SIAE stamp.
A case, that of Riccione, which has brought back to the fore the age-old question of the rights of disk jokeys: as I know the latter in a recent appeal-petition not only asked for a review of repressive policies but they also stressed the illegality of many kidnapping operations against DJs.
The nine reported are at great risk: for them, in fact, an accusation of piracy is looming for profit an eventuality that includes imprisonment from six months to six years and fines that can exceed 15 thousand euros.
In recent days, the fine imposed by the Carabinieri on a tourist who bought an illegal DVD for five euros on the beach in Lido di Camaiore (Lucca) was also reported: the man was inflicted a fine of 10 thousand euros . A case that did not go unnoticed: the Association for the rights of users and consumers ADUC in a note stated that “also in this case (…) the police were there with the precise purpose not of public order and therefore to prevent an offense from being committed, but to wait for the offense to be consummated and to intervene only afterwards. Obviously, we do not believe the intention was to collect such an exorbitant sum for the unfortunate as it is insignificant for the public coffers, but to create a sensational episode that would give a strong signal to all those who intend to do the same “.
“Is there still someone – asks Vincenzo Donvito, president of ADUC – who believes that by repressing demand, supply is lacking? Did the case – which is only the most obvious and extreme one – of illegal drugs, where a considerable mobilization based on the repression and dissuasion of consumption, the situation is an increase in supply and demand, did nothing help? ” “For us – continues Donvito – the policy of high and sensational fines is not convincing. When there is a demand for objects at low prices, the offer always comes also through the illegal market. The task of the authority should be to repress supply at the root and ensure that there are also very cheap goods on the markets (obviously not counterfeit), thanks to low taxation and the absence of protectionism from markets other than those of the EU ” .