SOPA is alive and well in Ireland

While the EU is saying that SOPA was a bad law that no one needed  it seems that Ireland did not get the memo.

According to legal experts in the Emerald Isle the government there is about to bring in a SOPA style law which is even vaguer and open-ended.

The law in Ireland will allow music companies to order internet service providers to block access to websites.

The Minister of State at the department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, claimed that the law is completely different to SOPA in America.

It is just addressing the High Court judgment handed down by Mr Justice Peter Charleton in relation to copyright law, Sherlock reckons.

However the Irish government’s new “statutory instrument” threatens to do some of the same things as Sopa. It allows ISPs to block websites suspected of having copyrighted material on them.

What is worrying is that Big Content could also ask a judge to order ISPs to block YouTube, Facebook and Twitter because the music industry insists that these sites contain their content. All they have to do is show a Judge their content on the site and the wigged one will order the ISP to pull the plug.

Google and Facebook are Dublin’s biggest employers, and it could be very embarrassing for the government if the sites are banned in Ireland.

Irish legal expert TJ McIntyre wrote in his bog that part of the Irish problem is that the instrument being drawn up is fairly woolly and it will take a test case before anyone knows what the result will be.

“Politically, this is a no-win scenario. Even with the government about to open the legal doors for the music and movie companies to start directing ISPs’ access policies, the content creation industry is frothing and fuming,” he said.

Ironically, by taking a leave-it-to-m’lud approach, the government is also now attracting the anger of an increasing sector of the technology and digital communities. It is unusual to alienate both sides of a legislative argument.