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Review of the main regulatory and jurisprudential news on the subject of information technology and new technologies.



July 6, 2015
European Court of Human Rights: the editor of a news portal can be punished for not removing in due time libelous comments published by users.
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, with ruling of June 16, 2015 on dispute 64569/09, while upholding the previous decision taken by the First Division on October 10, 2013, has judged that punishing the editor of a news portal for not removing in due time the offensive comments published by users is not a restriction to the freedom of expression safeguarded by article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, if the site has commercial purposes and the penalty is reasonable.
The Court has emphasized that this holds true for “big, professionally run and commercially based news portals” where comments by the users concern news published by the site manager, and not also for the portals – such as blogs, forums or social media – where the users “can freely publish their ideas on any topic” with no input whatsoever by the site manager.
(European Court of Human Rights, ruling of June 16, 2015, suit no. 64569/09)


June 19, 2015
European Commission: an antitrust investigation has been started on Amazon’s e-book distribution agreements.
The European Commission has announced the start of an investigation on the trade practices of Amazon concerning the distribution of e-books, in order to decide whether there exists a breach of the EC antitrust rules that forbid competition-limiting agreements and abuse of a dominant position.
Subject of the investigation will be the contracts stipulated by Amazon with publishers and, in particular, the clauses under which Amazon has the right to be informed by publishers about more favorable or alternative, if any, conditions offered to competitors and the right to be granted terms and conditions at least as favorable as those offered to competitors.
(European Commission, press release of June 11, 2015)



May 25, 2015
Court of Justice: the copyright owner can object also to the offer and advertising of his/her work aimed towards sales.
The Court of Justice, with ruling of May 13, 2015 concerning suit no. C-516/13, has stated that the concept of distribution to the public (relevant for the purposes of article 4 of Directive 2001/29/EC, to which article 13 of the Italian Law on copyright corresponds) includes not only the actual stipulation of a sale contract, but also the mere arrangement of deeds preliminary to the realization of a sale, such as an offer or an advertisement through a website. As a consequence, the owner of the sole distribution right is entitled to object to such deeds when their subject is the original work or copies of the same.
(Court of Justice, ruling of May 13, 2015, C-516/13)