Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government is backing legislation
that would mandate that videos uploaded by users to sites like YouTube and
Dailymotion be screened for pornography or excessive violence before being
approved, the Associated Press reported.

The draft legislation would see an
authority appointed by the government empowered to shut down any sites who fail
to screen content deemed harmful to minors, or impose fines of up to $210,000.

The legislation seeks to regulate Internet content in the same way that an EU
directive governing TV network content.

Critics of the plan include Reporters
Without Borders, and Google (NASD: GOOG), the parent company of YouTube.

"If I am the
BBC and I am using the web to broadcast my IPTV (Internet protocol TV), I am in
the scope of the [EU] directive. If I am a user posting on YouTube video of my
son’s birthday, I am not under the scope of the directive," Marco Pancini,
European senior policy counsel of Google Italia, told AP.

Pancini also told AP
that "after meeting with drafters this week that he was convinced they
were open to amending the decree."


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