Italian Goverment orders ISPs to block Project Gutenberg's website

Back in 2013, we made clear our concerns with the Italian communications watchdog AGCOM setting up new administrative copyright enforcement powers that would allow them to simply up and declare sites to be infringing, at which point ISPs would be ordered to block websites. Soon after that Italy’s public prosecutor seemed to decided that part of his job was also to order websites blocked based solely on the public prosecutor’s say so.

In the latest such order from the Public Prosecutor’s office declaring a list of sites to be infringing, apparently Italy has decided that the famous and wonderful Project Gutenberg website, which is a repository of public domain books, must be blocked. I don’t know about the other 27 sites listed in the order, but Project Gutenberg is no piracy site. Yet here it is at number 25 on the list:

They even go to the trouble of looking up the whois info. You would think that maybe someone would recognize that a site founded in 1996 maybe is not a giant piracy site:

The Italian Library Association is asking what the fuck is going on.


This maybe why we need tech people up in legislation/senate/judiciary, etc.

The “ruling class” is pretty much comprised of old and out of touch people. We need younger ruling class people to move forward in queue and be in charge. Bonus points that they are more enthusiastic and idealistic and hungry to prove themselves vs old jaded and burnt out folks that got eaten by the system.


Its not only that, but legislators need a set of scientists of different subjects so that they can consult them, I know that the USA had something like that but it was removed by the Trump administration (if I’m not wrong). A lot of the decision making with regards to economics tends to be done more on pressure applied by media and republicans than on real studies and theory, as an example, but I get your point that this intensifies a lot more when it comes to technology since a lot of them are basically illiterate when it comes to computers.

As an Italian I say that this is embarrassing, with the VPN I can still connect to the Gutenberg project even if I am connected in Italy, fortunately. I hope that the Guardia di Finanza will resolve the misunderstanding as soon as possible.