YouTube, and parent Google, are now to be considered TV broadcasters in Italy according to new rules handed down by the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM). The rules apply equally to other similar websites based on user-generated content over the internet provided they're also running advertising.
According to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the rules impose the following burdens and obligations on YouTube and other online video providers:
- A €500 tax (under $700)
- A restriction content on inappropriate for children being shown during certain times of day
- A obligation to publish "corrections" to video content within 48 hours if requested by an alleged slander victim
- Potential liability for any and all content appearing on the site
The main reason for this is probably that it'll force YouTube to assume editorial responsibility for all published content, which facilitates the ongoing € 500M lawsuit of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi against YouTube because of content copyrighted by Berlusconi's TV networks that some users uploaded on YouTube. Berlusconi's Spanish TV station, TeleCinco, was previously defeated in court on the grounds that YouTube is not a content provider."