So the proposed legislation dubbed ‘Ireland’s SOPA’ has been enacted into law by Statutory Instrument, despite vociferous opposition from that section of the public clued in to such things. And now the junior minister responsible, Seán Sherlock, has launched a public consultation that, he says, could lead to new laws which would supersede the current one.
Leaving aside the notion of holding a public consultation after the proposals in question were already made law through the back door, we see that Minister Sherlock has made a gesture of sorts to his critics, calling on “those people who were exercised by the statutory instrument” to “engage in the very nature of copyright [and] engage on the issues within the consultation paper”.
When it rains, it pours.
In the wake of the SOPA/PIPA furore, up bubbles ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement which, as Forbes reports, contains provisions “just as pernicious as anything we saw in SOPA” and has already been signed or ratified by most of the developed world.
What are the consequences? Well, aside from enforcing food and drug patents that are crippling to the developing world, which is bad enough, the agreement also “bypasses the sovereign laws of participating nations, forcing ISPs across the globe to adopt [its] draconian measures.” Oy vey.
If you thought SOPA would break the internet, ACTA is much worse. And it could become law across the global economy without so much as a murmur of opposition.
That’s just super.
Meanwhile, and closer to home, people are kicking up a fuss about a sneaky little piece of legislation that’s been dubbed ‘Ireland’s SOPA’.
TJ McIntyre’s IT Law in Ireland blog has a concise overview of the Government’s plans to legislate for Irish courts to block access to websites accused of copyright infringement (and possibly other things) at their own discretion.