ISPAI Concern at DETE Copyright Act Amendment Proposals

June 23, 2011


In the last few days the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation announced a consultation on a proposed amendment to Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000

The Department is inviting comments on the content of its proposed legislative amendment (by way of a statutory instrument) of the 2000 Act. The amendment proposes to grant to rights holders a right to apply for a High Court injunction against a person who provides facilities for “enabling the making available to the public of copies of a work where those facilities are being used by one or more third parties to infringe the copyright in that work.” It also allows a rights holder to apply for an injunction against a person who provides facilities for “enabling the making available to the public of copies of a recording of a performance.”

ISPAI welcomes that the Department has announced that the consultation period has now been extended to 29th July at 5pm due to a large volume of requests for an extension.

ISPAI seriously questions the haste at which the Department proposes to introduce the amendment, the fact that there is effectively no Oireachtas input, and that it is considered without the guidance of the imminent European Court of Justice SABAM v. Scarlet judgement (in that case a Belgian court has referred a question to the ECJ on the same issue).

ISPAI will be submitting a comment on the consultation to clarify our position – we are fundamentally opposed to the introduction of an injunctions regime which would provide for wide-scale blocking and encompass mass-monitoring obligations on ISPs. Any legislative intervention must guarantee proportionality. ISPAI maintains that the correct resolution involves pursuing the actual facilitators of copyright infringement rather than the ISPs, who are mere conduits of data, providing Internet connection services.

The comment will also identify issues regarding the content of the proposal itself and the potential difficulties and dangers that they present.