Update : Minister Mary Hanafin denies changes to copyright laws
Please sign this Letter in response to the announced amendments to Irish Copyright law
In response to the announcement of statutory amendments to Irish Copyright law that threaten Irish peoples privacy online Saor Cultur Eire (Free Culture Ireland) have penned the following letter in which we encourage Irish people to share, copy, sign and send it to your TD (MP) and electoral Candidates.
On the 23rd of February two days before the General Election, I am deeply frustrated to read that the outgoing Fianna Fáil Government is rushing through last minute statutory amendments to Irish Copyright law to give judges the power to grant injunctions against ISPs in relation to copyright infringement cases without any debate or discussion in the Dáil or the Seanad and without any public consultation on the issue.
This appears as nothing more than a back room deal made in the interests of the entertainment industry lobbyists with an absolute disregard for the personal privacy of Irish people.
The issues are admittedly complex. The entertainment industry will tell you that they are suffering incredible losses due to Internet piracy but it must be acknowledged that this is in part due to their own failure to adapt and service the online market. Instead they have focused on protectionist efforts sueing Internet users and ISP’s, and lobbying governments across the globe to introduce Internet monitoring and the ‘3-strikes’ rule.
The imposition of a general monitoring and filtering of people’s activities online is analogous to wiretapping. It is a deep infringement on people’s privacy and a threat to freedom of expression.
This is dangerous territory. Particularly in times like these when we can see clearly how governments in the Middle East and North Africa have abused this capacity to monitor and censor Internet users activities. The right to freedom of expression and the right of access to knowledge and to communicate are essential to a 21st Century democracy.
I call on the incoming Government to show the Irish people that it will no longer condone business conducted in this way by immediately overturning this amendment in favour of copyright reform which will include real public consultation and debate.
I welcome Eamon Ryan’s challenge to Mary Hanafin on this today, whereby he urged her not to sign this amendment into law.
The Digital Technology sector employs 73,000 Irish people and is key to the country’s economic recovery it would be unwise to rush through any legislation of this sort without their involvement.
Yet again the world is watching Ireland.
Source: Boing Boing http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/23/irish-government-sne.html / Electronic Frontier Foundation – https://twitter.com//EFF/status/40576226699657216
Saor Cultur Eire