Ireland’s SOPA: Your Questions Answered


The following are some FAQs about the new web blocking legislation being pushed through the Dail.

Brooding legal type TJ McIntyre at IT Law In Ireland answers the questions. We hope he won’t mind us nicking some.

What’s this all about?
“Long story short: the Irish government plans, before the end of January, to bring in a law which would allow Irish courts to block access to websites accused of infringing copyright (and possibly do other things as well).”

Isn’t that a short time for parliament to examine it?
“The Irish parliament won’t have a chance to debate it before it’s passed. The law is to be brought in by a statutory instrument, something which requires only the stroke of a minister’s pen.”
Who’s responsible?
“The law is the responsibility of the Department for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation where the key person is junior minister Sean Sherlock.”

What will the law say?
“We don’t have a final text yet. But the key part is likely to be similar to a previous draft which said:

3. The Act of 2000 is hereby amended by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (5) of section 40:

(5A)(a) without prejudice to subsections (3) and (4), the owner of the copyright in the work concerned may apply to the High Court for an injunction against a person who provides facilities referred to in subsection (3) where those facilities are being used by one or more third parties to infringe the copyright in that work.

(b) In considering an application for an injunction under this subsection, the court shall have due regard to the rights of any third party likely to be affected and the court shall make such directions (including, where appropriate, a direction requiring a third party to be put on notice of the application) as the court may deem necessary or appropriate in all the circumstances.

Can we have that in English please?
“Certainly. This will give the Irish courts an open-ended power to grant orders against ISPs and other intermediaries who provide facilities which might be used to infringe copyright. This would include hosting providers, social networks, forums, video hosting sites – potentially most online services.”

Continued here: Ireland’s SOPA: A FAQ (IT Law In Ireland)

39 thoughts on “Ireland’s SOPA: Your Questions Answered

  1. Pat

    I am not a legal expert, but I recall that I read somewhere that Europe has decided against this, so this Irish law would be easily challenged, is that true ?

  2. rapmachine no diggidy no doubt

    hold on a f**king second, they dont think they’re doing enough to ruin our lives as it is now they want to pull this bullshit on us? bring back FF, is that where we are now?

  3. Jockstrap

    A perfect example of how international business can over-ride a democratic parliament by lobbying politicians directly. And by lobbying I mean pressure in many forms.

    If the Dáil and Seanad cannot debate this, then it must be challenged in the courts as being unconstitutional.

  4. I_got_opinions

    I’ve already sent an individual objection to John Sherlock and a more general one to all TDs using the form on I recommend anyone with a strong opinion on this to take 5 mins and do the same.

      1. rob

        so many evil guys have hair like that. it denotes sly and sneakiness. shouldve been spotted long before he got into a position of power to use as a vehicle for his evilness.

  5. Tom

    Emailed tweeted. That guy must be an absolute moron to think this can be passed with no debate by the people or politicians there will be repercussions Ireland wont just let this go through with nothing said!

  6. Kolmo

    The US browbeat Spain into passing into law, they will do the same here, the laws are now written because of the pressures eminating from the purchasers of US politicians, the same scum want war with Iran, democracy is only an illusion to keep the lid on the dustbin.

  7. well

    If they want to continue selling this nation as some sort of future “cloud computing” hub, this prevent it.

    Considering what happened to mega upload recently a lob of offsite storage companies have started to block US users to avoid being arrested and extradited for what their users do.

  8. Johnathan McAuliffe

    This is unreal, anybody or all of us ready to storm the Dail and take back our country ? I am not joking either !!

  9. John Cassidy

    If this does come to pass, what you can do is install a free (ad-funded) program called Expat Shield and once you turn it on, hey presto, you have a UK IP address and can carry on downloading to your heart’s content free from the prying eyes of the Irish Nanny State.

    1. well

      Which just highlights how dumb this is.
      Laws like this will not affect pirates or people with some tech savy.It will only punish businesses and people who already obey the law and in the long run it will be used for other forms of censorship.

      Record companies have been trying to get laws like this pushed through for years, but its been slow until now in light of recent events e.g. the occupy movement and claims other protest movements e.g. Egypt, Libya etc (i have some doubts about how instrumental twitter and Facebook supposedly where to this) governments and elites in many other countries have finally become nervous enough to begin enacting these laws.

      They’re afraid of communication between people, old one way systems methods of broadcast like RTE are losing their efficacy because of the internet.

    2. Stewart Curry

      If this does come to pass, Broadsheet could be shut down because some movie guy gets the hump at them for taking the piss out of the Bounty Hunter and whatever that other film was with what’s her face, and unless the guys here are sitting on a massive legal war chest, it’s game over.

    1. Gav D

      Actually sir, you’re completely (and respectfully) wrong. That ruling applies to filtering of peer to peer data, which would require deep packet inspection type analysis.

      It has nothing to do with DNS filtering, as proposed in the above legislation. Apples and Oranges (Both still fruity, but different fruit altogether).

  10. Paul

    It would appear to me that at least one of the logos on Minster Sherlock’s website (, the Main Navigation logo ( is in breach of copyright. This logo, albeit changed in colour, appears to be Microsoft’s Ease Of Access logo, as seen at

    Funny that…

  11. Sean OG

    I had a feeling that this sort of draconian action by the US government was on the way. They are gunning for sites like Megaupload and Rapidshare in a big way and want to do it under the radar while people are obsessing over other issues like the financial meltdown. The super-rich US elite (who will never be affected by the global recession) by-passing so called democracy in other countries to get richer. So sickening!

  12. Markgdub

    What’s wrong with waiting until the film or TV shows come out in the cinema / on DVD, go on telly or end up on a legal web site?

    What’s wrong with paying €0.99 for the song or €7.99 for the album?

    I agree that this legislation needs a bit more debate, but I don’t really see the problem in paying for digital entertainment through the proper channels.

    Nothing in entertainment is that good that I should take it for free, including Radiohead’s recent giveaways.

    1. Adam Murray

      Unfortunatley, it’s not that simple. It’s cracking down severely on even the sites that host content that breaches copyright, like facebook and google. Companies that together, employ over 5,000 people in Ireland alone. If this regulation is passed, it might make these people think twice about being based in Ireland. And if facebook and google go, how long until Amazon, eBay and Paypal rethink being based in Ireland? This short sighted and ignorant law could cost tens and thousands of jobs.

      1. Markgdub

        I am not sure that conjecture is what we need on this debate.

        If SOPA is passed in the US, will these companies move from Silicon Valley to Valle Silico south of the border?

        No, they won’t.

        This will be a bigger problem for ISPs operating in this country than it will be for Google or Facebook.

    2. Charly Julienne

      Copyright infringement is wrong, I fail to see how this justifies censorship. Two wrongs do not make a right.
      Let alone that anyone thinking that blocking websites will prevent piracy is only fooling themselves.
      Just because the big music labels want to destroy the Internet doesn’t mean we have to.

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