Minister of State at the department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Sean SherlockA junior Minister of the current government intends to bring through the Dáil a new law that ‘threatens Ireland’s digital economy’.
The law is being enacted by ministerial order. It is not being debated in the Dáil. The law closely resembles the SOPA Bill that was defeated recently in the US.
Essentially the legal amendment gives music and film companies the right to demand that ISPs like UPC and eircom block access to sites suspected of having copyrighted material on them.
What is most sinister is that Irish judges will be able to order ISPs to block access to sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter where an individual user from ‘anywhere in the world’ has shared infringing material.
“The introduction of this sort of legislation without proper debate could only have negative impact on the digital industry and the Irish economy as a whole,” says Michele Neylon of Blacknight.
Simon McGarr of McGarr Solicitors, a litigation lawyer based in Dublin who stands with Blacknight on this issue states: “Irish Internet users are in a race to save their Internet. The Minister has said he is bringing in this bad law before the end of January, with no Dáil debate.”
McGarr Solicitors urges everyone who cares about the free exchange of ideas to sign the Stop SOPA Ireland petition at stopsopaireland.com, “before the Irish Internet starts to go dark.”