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)