Home Knowledge Controversial Copyright Regulations Signed into Law

Controversial Copyright Regulations Signed into Law

March 2, 2012

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, has signed into law Regulations allowing rights-holders to apply to the High Court for an injunction to prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) providing access to websites containing copyright material. As previously reported, proposals by Seán Sherlock, Minister for Research and Innovation, to provide rights-holders with such a remedy provoked widespread debate and controversy. Indeed, a petition organised by campaign group, ‘Stop Sopa Ireland’ gained more than 80,000 signatures.

Much of the criticism seems to stem from the fact that the Regulations are light on detail, consisting of only two paragraphs. Against this, Minister Seán Sherlock has stated that the High Court will be guided by decisions of the European Court of Justice in this area and will be mindful of the following:

  • The freedom of operators such as ISPs to conduct a business
  • An ISP cannot be obliged to carry out general monitoring on the information it carries on its network
  • Any measures imposed on ISPs must be fair and proportionate and not unnecessarily complicated or costly
  • The fundamental rights of consumers and end-users to protection of their personal data and their right to receive or impart information

Contributed by Carol Plunkett.