Italy’s politicos certainly seem to have a certain part of their anatomy above the shoulders stuck inside another part of their anatomy below the belt. They seem to have this idea that passing a law which would require all bloggers to register, pay tax and be regulated by a government body (also here) is a good idea.
The Levi-Prodi law lays out that anyone with a blog or a website has to register it with the ROC, a register of the Communications Authority, produce certificates, pay a tax, even if they provide information without any intention to make money.
So that means your blog about your dog would be required to pay the same kind of fees and suffer the same kind of regulation as a blog run by the NY Times. So wrong!
Even more so, considering bloggers are treated like the red-headed step-children of the journalistic world. Case in point, the new journalist shield bill that got neutered in our own House of Congress (with more editorial thoughts here).
The original version was reasonably protective, and the term “engaged in journalism” was reasonably well-defined. But by the time our esteemed elected representatives got finished with it, a serious blogger who breaks news (but doesn’t have Google Ads on his site) would not benefit from the shield. It requires “substantial” income, even though not all good journalism is done for significant financial gain.
We’re in a world of citizen journalism now, like it or not. We need rights to protect us, not regulating bodies and asinine tax schemes. Just more proof that most politicians are idiots, no matter where in the world you live.