In an update to an earlier article I posted, it appears that the Google executives in question have been convicted:
They were convicted for having failed to block the publication of a video showing some teenagers picking on and hitting another minor with Down's syndrome.
It will be interesting to see how Google reacts. Apparently, the court believes that Google is criminally responsible for videos its users happen to post, which means that they would, in theory, have to personally review every video submitted to determine whether they are going to be infringing on someone's rights because of its content?
Here's a New York Times link:
"cate" posted a link to Google's official response: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/serious-threat-to-web-in-italy.html
Also, it's really incredible to read the comments here (in Italian): http://vitadigitale.corriere.it/2010/02/processo_vivi_down_google_cond.html
Most of them are against this ruling, but a significant number think it's a good thing, which just goes to show that you can't put all the blame on politicians for Italy's woes: someone is voting for them, after all.