Internet Association’s public forum on Irish copyright review is live

3 Mar 2012

The Irish Internet Association’s public forum on the Irish copyright review, open to members, the public and the ISP Association of Ireland (ISPAI) has gone live. Feedback from the forum will be taken into account by Innovation Minister Sean Sherlock TD and the review committee and could set the stage for new copyright laws.

The public forum gives the public and members of the IIA and ISPAI the opportunity to give their feedback on each of the 86 questions posed in the Copyright Consultation Review paper.

The entire matter has been spurred by the signing into law this week of a statutory instrument – dubbed the Irish SOPA – that gives courts the power to grant injunctions against ISPs in illegal download cases.

Outcry against the controversial instrument, which amends the Copyright Act 2000, saw more than 80,000 sign a petition online and 1,500 pledge to contact their TD on the matter.

Speaking with Minister Sherlock this week, he said that the intention is not to put in place legislation that will stifle innovation but instead work with the review committee and the public to craft legislation that will put Ireland at the forefront of laws that protect copyright but also boost innovation in the digital economy.

“If we can legislate on compromises reached through this endeavour, if that means changing existing copyright legislation then I’ll keep an open mind about that.

“But I’ll also need an open-minded approach from both the rights holders and the internet community and industry,” he told Silicon Republic.

Read the document

The chief executive of the IIA Joan Mulvihill: “The important thing is people read the document and respond to the 86 questions.

“There are some good ideas in that document – some may be challenging to implement – but that could put Ireland at the forefront of copyright legislation in Europe, securing Ireland’s position in the digital economy and fostering innovation.

“I would encourage people to keep an open mind and embrace the opportunity in the spirit in which it is intended. It’s about extending the latitude of copyright laws at the same time protecting creators and consumers,” she said.

The closing date for submissions to the IIA forum is Thursday 5 April. The closing date for all submissions to the Copyright Review Committee is Friday 13 April.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years