Just say no: 7 reasons to raise your voice against SOPA Ireland

By Aisling | January 26 2012 | 17 Comments

Anything to do with copyright or copyright law is mind numbingly confusing and boring.  It’s capable of reducing the most intelligent among us to a state of yawnarama quicker then you can say “Paragraph eight section II of subsection 869″ and thus causes us to lose immediate interest and zone out.

SOPA Ireland is a really important issue though.  We’ve done the yawn bit for you and actually read through the arguments and consulted with a few people in the know: here’s the Beaut.ie take on the situation.

  1. It’s vague and open ended – this is bad law plain and simple (read why).  Nothing is nailed down and it’s full of more loopholes than the knitting I did in fifth class.  Silicon Republic has the full text of the legislation plus some assurances from the minister responsible.  Far be it for me to say he pulled these out of his ass as a reaction to the sustained criticism he has received on foot of this issue.
  2. Anti democratic – it is not being properly debated.  It will just “happen.” Political commenter Suzy Byrne of Maman Poulet deplores the situation, saying “it’s the wrong way to pass a law – there should be a bill, discussion, debate, amendment and a vote. The Minister is proposing none of this and seems to be making up something that can be dealt with quickly and avoid much scrutiny.”
  3. Pro censorship. Do you want the government to decide which sites you visit?  If you do, try living in China.  I’m getting all Mel Gibson here: the government can refuse to burn the bondholders – but they can never take away our Internet Freeeeeeeedom.  Which is exactly what would happen here if we let it go through without a whimper.  If you believe in democracy, freedom of speech and choice – vote against this and any legislation that smacks of censorship.
  4. Anti-industry. If you were Facebook would you want to be based in Ireland and worry about being sued on the basis of whatever copyright infringing content one of your gajillion users put up.  Would you want to hire extra staff to monitor said copyright infringements?  Could you afford to fight off all the lawsuits?  No.  You would simply relocate elsewhere.  And take your jobs with you.
  5. And that’s a huge site with lots of money and resources.  What about little Internet sites like blogs for instance?  They’d be up shit creek without a paddle. Tom Murphy, founder of Boards.ie argues  that “the implications are no more social media for Ireland.” Read his statement here – it sums everything up really well.
  6. Pro Big Business bullying. Why is the Irish government prepared to enact legislation on the say so of the music industry? (Read about some of their machinations here).  Music industry – it’s time to face up to the 21st Century – it’s up to YOU to grow and change.  Social Media and online marketing expert Damien Mulley reckons:  “these are the death throes of the music and movie industry and they’re sullying their dignity on the way out. Whether it goes through or not it is too late for them. Their destruction really has been sped up over these petty escapades.” In other words their arguments are rubbish.  Compare it say to Easons trying to block access to eBooks or Amazon.
  7. It will scare off new business thinking of locating in Ireland.  According to Adrian Weckler of the Sunday Business Post (via TJMcIntyre) “the new law will give music and movie firms the legal footing to get ISPs blocking. That may not go down too well with Google and Facebook, which are two of Dublin’s biggest employers. It probably won’t sit easily, either, with the IDA, which may have to alter its pitch to large US social media firms who may have been thinking of setting up in Ireland. (That includes Twitter.)”

Are you with us?  If you are, visit StopSOPAIreland.com and join the 45k+ people who’ve already signed the petition and said NO to Minister Sherlock and the SOPA legislation.

Image via guardian.co.uk
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17 Replies to "Just say no: 7 reasons to raise your voice against SOPA Ireland"

  • MJ says:

    Brilluantly research and calmly argued post Aisling. Keep up the good work!

  • stace-invader says:

    wondering when i was going to see a post like this!!!

    the very idea of passing law by ministerial act is abhorent but thats the country we live in & more importantly the government (as baffling as it might seem) we voted for!!

    im not a computery person but i am studying law & economics & this is economic suicide par for the course in Ireland unfortunately!

    RIP to the only real growth industry we have in Ireland at the moment

    worth firing off an email to your td at the very least although im not optimistic!!

  • Trillian says:

    Well done Aisling for highlighting this! I’ve sent individual emails to my TDs (and of course signed the petition). The government are trying to ignore the now 50K+ people who signed it, but people power can sway them.

    If they realise that this will lose them votes, they will rethink.

  • stace-invader says:

    they’ll resist as much as possible because they dont really want to highlight the ridiculous scope these ministers have simply by calling something a statutory instrument & sticking their signature on it!!

    this happens all the time but this time it got far too much publicity mainly due to the idiocy of it all!

  • Ninaluna says:

    Update: Sherlock has agreed to a debate

    http://www.thejournal.ie/sherlock-agrees-to-full-dail-debate-before-signing-online-copyright-law-338435-Jan2012/

    I work for one of the companies mentioned and I can’t begin to tell you how seriously we are taking this-our very existence is being threatened.

    It was only after the bill was mentioned in the context of job losses (the very thing this government is meant to be avoiding) that other TD’s began to take it seriously.

    Anyone who hasn’t already signed the petition, please please do.

  • Sarah says:

    I appericate this, actually get it now. Im sorry to say it but what has our beautiful heritage filled country come to? I used to scowl at the thought of leaving here for work, but now I’d gladly do it.

  • Rebelette says:

    I have to admit I didnt know much about all this but have just been reading the linked articles. I can’t get over the fact that this is coming from our “Innovation” minister! Shouldn’t he be trying to attract new companies to Ireland to create new jobs, not get rid of them!!! And after Enda’s display yesterday, I really am losing all faith in this government…I had very little to start with!

  • OtherMary says:

    Rebelette, that is exactly what I was thinking and was about to write! The innovation minister is trying to stop innovation. Bloody great work.

  • Gracie says:

    Thank you very much for your research.

    Another concern for me is ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), which has already been signed by USA, EU and all its members (yes, including Ireland), Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea. So, it has a much more global scope!!

    Internet is the centre of the digital age freedom. When will people get that?

  • Yep ACTA is next… it’s already been signed by Ireland

  • Aisling Aisling says:

    thanks for taking the time to read this everyone – we really see it as the thin edge of the censorship wedge and can’t believe the casual way it was being sneaked through

    ninaluna – The Journal have been fabulous the whole way through with their reporting on this issue, they are really the first port of call for any updates. I can imagine how closely the multinational online companies are watching this, we have to fight, we want them in this country more than anything

  • click here says:

    Great post, Aisling, thanks!

    You have to wonder whether the opinions of those who actually create artistic works, those for whom intellectual property law is supposed to benefit – musicians, artists, writers – have been taken into account? Rather than the record companies. Why is the Minister not canvassing those views?

    There has been a worrying lack of transparency regarding this issue in general. Wasn’t one of the huge problems of the last government the secrecy, the lobbying, the greasy palms, the quiet words with ministers?

    And this “new” proposed debate in Dáil Éireann changes nothing: it’s still a Ministerial Order that he intends to sign, same wording, same everything.

    I’ve heard Seán Sherlock say “the net must innovate”. He seems to be missing the point entirely: the net has innovated; it is the record companies which refuse to change and keep up with these innovations.

    Record companies – and anyone who thinks like them – need to face up to a simple truth: they must adapt or die.

  • Ninaluna says:

    Aisling, The Journal have indeed been brilliant-some of the more traditional news outlets were very slow to even pick up the story initially, which, to me is pretty telling.

    Trying not to disclose my identity or who I work for but this really is only the beginning, from what I can gather Sherlock is still pretty determined.

  • Nimi says:

    Really good post, thanks for explaining in such a straightforward way!

    I just tried to add my name to the petition though and when I click “add your signature to the petition” on the website nothing is happening – am i missing something?

  • Thanks so much for this post Aisling, it’s such an important issue. Michele (de boss) had a meeting with Sean Sherlock during the week. Naturally he can’t yet reveal any of the details of the discussion (no matter how much we poked and pried!), but hopefully he made him see sense.

  • Aisling Aisling says:

    Nimi – any luck? Maybe it was just busy when you tried?
    Kat – oh I hope so

  • Nimi says:

    Yep it’s working now – thanks Aisling!

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