Statement | The alternative to Sherlock’s ‘SOPA’ law

‘SOPA’ LAW: CATHERINE MURPHY AND STEPHEN DONNELLY PRESENT ALTERNATIVE STATUTORY INSTRUMENT TEXT TO MINISTER SHERLOCK

DOWNLOAD: Amended SI CMurphy and SDonnelly

MURPHY AND DONNELLY CALL UPON THE MINISTER TO ENACT THE BALANCED MEASURES AT FIRST OPPORTUNITY AND TO FOLLOW WITH PRIMARY LEGISLATION.

Independent Deputies Catherine Murphy (Kildare North) and Stephen Donnelly (Wicklow-East Carlow) today presented Minister Seán Sherlock with a draft of an alternative Statutory Instrument which they believe clearly restates the position of European Copyright law in Ireland while also explicitly protecting some key basic online freedoms as laid out in the Scarlet  v SABAM ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last November.

The deputies, speaking ahead of a scheduled debate this evening on the subject, expressed their confidence that the wording would enable the Minister to meet his stated objective of fully transposing Directive 2001/29/EC into Irish law.

They expressed their thanks to TJ McIntyre and Simon McGarr for their expertise and support on the matter.

“We fully appreciate that the Minister is sincere in his desire to swiftly address the findings of the courts; however as legislators we believe that it is our first responsibility to bring absolute clarity to any law we pass so that there cannot be any doubt about potential consequences. The SI wording proposed last week does not provide certainty to internet users and raises some serious questions about Ireland’s reputation in one of our few growth industries.

“Today we propose the inclusion of the key safeguards mentioned in the Scarlet v SABAM judgment by the ECJ which protects certain basic online freedoms. None of the measures conflict with the Minister’s aims and taken together provide some welcome reassurance for users, website owners and service providers.

“We also propose that the SI expire by 2014, to ensure enough time to prepare comprehensive legislation; that the costs incurred by any intermediary against whom an injunction is sought be borne by the applicant, and that a referral mechanism involving the Data Protection Commissioner be put in place to guarantee a right to protection of personal information.

“It’s our aim to constructively work with the Government to address this issue and in that spirit we hope that Minister Sherlock will give serious consideration to these proposals.

MORE:

Stephen Donnelly tackles the Taoiseach on the attempt to bring in the Statutory Instrument without debate.

TJ McIntyre’s FAQ on the so-called “SOPA Ireland” statutory instrument