Read On

Speak Your Mind On Copyright

Read OnWe’ve written about copyright, digital rights and our views on the entire thing several times over the past few months. If you missed any of our previous articles on the subject they’re here, here and here.

The Irish government has signed into law the SI, which doesn’t really surprise me. It was pretty clear that it was going to happen.

The big question now is “what next?”

If you use social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook you’ve probably seen people “baying for blood”. That’s pointless. Mr Sherlock may have been the person whose name was associated with the SI, but he’s just a pawn in a much bigger game.

If you want to be angry with anyone then I’d suggest IRMA, but even then I wouldn’t encourage it actively.

I’m a strong believer in having proper dialogue.

If you want to spend time and energy on anything then you should focus your efforts where they can have the most impact. Demanding that government ministers step down isn’t going to help anyone.

What would help?

A change to the legislation.

To reinforce this point I’ll point to the letter that Minister Bruton sent the ISP Association of Ireland today where he talked at length about the copyright review.

If you want to provide input on this – and I’d encourage you to take the time to do so, then you have two options:

  1. Complete the web based survey that the IIA have setup here – you don’t need to be a member
  2. Do the survey on the government’s version of the survey

You’ll need to have a look at the consultation paper, which runs to about 120 pages, before completing the survey. You can download it here (PDF)

If you have an opinion about copyright in Ireland then now is the time to make your voice heard and shape the future of how it is handled in this country.


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10 Responses to Speak Your Mind On Copyright

  1. Andrew March 5, 2012 at 17:04 #

    I for one regret the lack of penguins, I hear tell they can be fearsome beasties.

    Thanks for the recent posts on copyright issues and thanks for this, it’s not just about having the right information it’s about knowing the right place to use it. Looks like I have some reading ahead of me.

    • Michele Neylon March 5, 2012 at 17:17 #


      The consultation document is quite long, but it’s also pretty comprehensive. If people have a serious interest in the area then they should read it and submit their feedback either via the IIA or via the online survey that the department has setup.

      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the lack of penguins ūüôā


  2. Felim Whiteley March 5, 2012 at 17:23 #

    Hi Michele,

    Just a quick note. My local TD (Peter Mathews (FG)) happened to be around the area the other week and I brought up the “ignoring” of the Stop SOPA campaign. He said the 80k signatures were not “taken seriously” (my words not his, can’t remember the exact term) due to the lack of a postal address beside a name so it could have been anyone from anywhere.

    Also he didn’t have a bullet point list of the impacts he could understand. I’m somewhat paraphrasing but that was the basic point.

  3. Bob March 6, 2012 at 01:34 #

    Had a look through that. I appreciate the point ( and hadn’t really thought it through before TBH) that some version of this is bound to become operational at some point so we need to make our voice heard so that it ends up a useful instrument in it’s final rendition ( if that’s a proper understanding and paraphrase of what you meant ) …… Am I missing something here or is the primary concern, at least from the technical industry side, that this legislation doesn’t damage the “free” internet in it’s bid to protect against piracy. At least it’s my concern. I’m actually a copyright holder myself and member of IMRO; but protecting against piracy of my music ranks a distant second to having an overzealous large media corporation shut down large sections of my the internet access in blunt instrument fashion ( which is what I think will inevitably happen given time, knowing the nature of large corporations, in particularly media industry ones …. just my opinion anyway ! But Remember the music industry is quickly becoming a monopoly. The big six have become the big five which in the last year I think have become the big four – all in the last about 10 years. ). Anyway my point is that while I think this survey is great and asks some excellent questions re copyright, I wonder is it avoiding the bigger issue in that there are no questions ( that i noticed, I assume I missed one or two but not a lot anyway… ) which were aimed at the “how can we protect against over zealous use of this down the line. What if FOX for instance has a vested interest in doing battle with youtube or shutting down some new small online competitor, think small irish entrepreneur with big potential. Who is protecting against that. Where is the concern re that? As a musician and also a developer, I can tell you that a couple of Irish based twitter’s facebook’s or google’s would do a whole lot more for this economy than any number of U2’s. And as far as I know there have been no Irish success music stories that were signed to the Irish wings of the major record labels, so who’s side is who on here. Who are we serving? EMI ?? ( because they discovered U2, Lizzy and the rats ? …..ahm, no, try joe dolan and dustin) Honestly the Irish wing of EMI while I wouldn’t want to ignore them or anything, all respect due but should they really be given the same respect as Google who provide it must be 1000’s of jobs. Also remember ( and as alluded to in a previous BK post) the legal and media industries are in general not exactly up to scratch on the technical details to say the least.

    • Michele Neylon March 6, 2012 at 08:55 #


      Concerns will vary depending on your perspective and what you do for a living.

      Personally I’m a strong believer in a “free” internet, but professionally my company has to deal with real issues and threats on an almost daily basis. Those issues and threats come in the form of legal threats via email, fax, courier etc., In most cases we have no knowledge of the alleged “infringement” and in many cases the claim is dubious at best.
      In an ideal world the barrier would be raised so that we wouldn’t have to waste time and resources dealing with spurious claims, while copyright holders would actively engage and work with service providers such as ourselves to ensure that their rights were protected while our business and that of our clients was not adversely impacted.
      As a small company we do not want to have to incur huge legal costs each and every time we get a spurious takedown notice from a 3rd party.

      Unfortunately the current legislation has plenty of gaps and holes in it that make it far too easy for people to simply push it off to the courts, but that is hardly “the” solution for each and every problem when a “day in court” costs thousands of euro and the average client is only paying us about 50 – 100 euro / year.

      Thanks for your comment


  4. Bob March 6, 2012 at 01:44 #

    I think I should clarify before I get in trouble with EMI’s faithful that I don’t mean to be in any way derogative to the current or any previous EMI signees. Many fine musicians have and continue to be nurtured there. I only mean to point out that to date there have not been any major international success stories ( of the order of facebook or twitter as U2 might be considered) that I can think of offhand, from EMI or any other Irish major wing, but I’m open to correction/debate.

  5. Stephen Lacy April 9, 2012 at 14:40 #

    You mentioned that Sean Sherlock is a pawn and the real culprit is IRMA. So shouldn’t our real concern be that an elected representative is more of a pawn for IRMA than a representative of the Irish people?

    • Michele Neylon April 10, 2012 at 01:26 #


      Please read what I actually wrote. I never said that the Minister was a pawn of IRMA nor did I infer it.