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The Council of State has the word on fair compensation for publishers

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The Council of State has the word on fair compensation for publishers

ROMA — The Council of State celebrates this morning the first hearing of a proceeding, in its own way, historic.

Five state councilors will evaluate the appeal which directs them to the Communications Guarantor (AgCom).

The theme – of decisive importance for freedom of information in our country — is fair compensation.

Fair compensation, publishers with AgCom in the appeal to the Council of State by Aldo Fontanarosa 26 February 2024

Journalistic content

These are the sums that the Internet giants should pay – to publishers and authors – for the journalistic content they distribute via the Internet.

Distribution that it provides to these web platforms a direct benefit, also in the form of advertising revenue.

The right to fair compensation is enshrined in the 2019 EU Copyright Directive. Italy has transgressed the EU directive in our system since 2021.

Finally, in January 2023, AgCom itself launched the regulation which would have led publishers and Internet giants into a heated debate on the amount of fair compensation.

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The State Attorney’s Office

But in December 2023, the TAR of Lazio accepted an appeal by Meta (Facebook) and suspended the AgCom regulation, freezing it. Against the TAR’s ruling, AgCom is now appealing to the Council of State, assisted by the State Attorney’s Office.

The section of Palazzo Spada that deals with it is the sixth, specialized precisely on AgCom litigation. And he will have the State Attorney Federica Varrone in front of him — the only woman to debate the issue — who will ask to reject the suspension issued by the TAR.

And then she will anxiously await the verdict scheduled for tomorrowwithout prejudice to a further and sudden need for further investigation.

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Who are the advisors?

But here’s the college. Starting from the president Roberto Caponigro who for this very reason takes the place of Hadrian Simonetti (a public procurement expert who follows the 19 previous cases).

The predictions on the eve of the election placed the vice president of the Council of State, Carmine Volpe, at the helm of the college. Instead, Caponigro will sign first a decision that will determine the trajectory of publishing and good journalism in Italy.

In Caponigro’s past there are his beginnings in Bank of Italy; seven years in the TAR of Lecce, Naples and Rome; a double experience at Palazzo Chigi as a legal advisor, and also one as a member of the FIGC Federal Court of Appeal.

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The rapporteur of the measure

Four councilors in the college, starting from the speaker Giovanni Pascuzziwho worked as a jurist for thirty years, also dealing with digital age law at the University of Trento.

Then Pascuzzi was chosen by Palazzo Chigi and voted by the Council of Ministers in November 2021 when the prime minister was Mario Draghi.

Instead, it was his predecessor Giuseppe Conte who wanted Thomas Mathàdeputy general secretary of the Province of Bolzano and director of the Procurement Agency, as well as a philately enthusiast.

Giovanni Gallone arrives from the TAR of Lecce which he left a year ago to move to Palazzo Spada. But in Puglia, in Foggia and in Lecce itself he was a prosecutor dealing with corruption that of the mafia. Finally Marco Poppi was a judge of the TAR of Parma.

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