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Warning: Irish Government Pirating Your Rights

Update 27/01/2012:

The number of signatures on the petition against “SOPA Ireland” (or “Sherlock’s Folly” as some are calling it) is now hitting 60,000 – an incredible number for a petition started just days ago. If you’re an Irish citizen and haven’t yet, please sign it.

There was a brief 15 minute debate in an empty government chamber last night, but thankfully a little common sense seems to be applied to the situation and we’ll have a 50 minute debate on Tuesday next.

Mark Dennehy has a great blog post on his work to get reforms in legislation and why he thinks the system itself needs an overhaul:

I’ve given up on the idea of working legislation in this country at this stage in almost any area of life. We’d need major change to fix the system of government before we’d get decent legislation for anything

We’re going to get some more debate on this issue, but Sherlock appears intent on signing. He seems naive enough to believe that his legislation is fine as it is, and that the courts will deal with any spurious legislation. This beggars belief – we’ve seen the film and music industry in America taking dead people and people who don’t even own computers to court for online copyright violations.

Individuals and small businesses who can’t afford to fight won’t stand a chance – when they get a threatening letter they will not risk the chance of court costs, regardless of how spurious it is.



Original post:

Last week, we had SOPA and PIPA in the US. This week in Ireland, in an even less democratic fashion, we have a “statutory instrument”, which requires no parlimentary or public debate, ready to be signed into law by a single minister’s pen.

The “Statutory Instrument Number (TBD) of 2011 European Communities (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2011″, otherwise known as the “Irish SOPA” is allegedly being enacted in order to comply with EU law, but the European Commission – which monitors implementation of EU law – doesn’t seem to think Ireland is in breach and hasn’t taken any action against Ireland for failure to introduce blocking.

The situation can no longer be tolerated where Irish Ministers enact EU legislation by statutory instrument. The checks and balances of parliamentary democracy are by-passed.

Very wise! Who said that? Why, the current government in their Programme For Government 2011!

So we have a law being rushed in by the government, with no parlimentary debate – against the wishes of the government’s own programme, in order to comply with EU law that we’re probably not in breach of. It gets worse! (more…)

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