The IFPI has hailed the news that Italian communications regulator AGCOM can now order ISPs to block access to piracy sites without requiring a court order. Specifically, from 31 March 2014 AGCOM will take on the role of ordering Italian and overseas websites to remove infringing content after complaints from rightsholders, and if they fail to comply, it’ll be able to require Italian ISPs to block access to those sites. It’s the first example of a communications authority taking on this role in Europe, with countries like the UK still requiring rightsholders to go to court to secure such blocks. “The blocking of websites that are dedicated to violating copyright has been demonstrably effective in reducing online infringement in many countries,” said IFPI boss Frances Moore, citing comScore/Nielsen stats claiming that in five countries where The Pirate Bay had been blocked in the past – the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Italy – its usage levels had fallen 69%.

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