The Minister of State at the department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, is introducing a statutory instrument that very closely mirrors SOPA, which was recently defeated in the US. This statute will affect all 3.5 million people in Ireland is about to become law with no vote in the Oireachtas.
An outspoken leader in Irish tech, Blacknight has long been opposed to censorship and restriction of the Internet and is committed to ensuring freedom online. If passed, sites of all sizes from YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to personal sites may be blocked in Ireland. The impact of such a move could be detrimental to Ireland’s digital economy.
Michele Neylon of Blacknight explains some of the effects: “Ireland has a healthy digital economy, an economy that we at Blacknight are proud to be part of. International companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, EBay, PayPal and many more have chosen Ireland as their European home. The introduction of this sort of legislation without proper debate and discussion and without the full ramifications of the legislation being considered could only have negative impact on the digital industry and the Irish economy as a whole.”
Upon announcement of this statute, the twitter-sphere exploded users urging Seán Sherlock to not sign this statutory instrument into law as among the ills it brings is that website owners faced with an injunction will have no legal recourse without a substantial legal budget.
Neylon continues: “Innovation in a digital age should be allowed to flourish. Intellectual property rights holders are, of course, entitled to protections, but those protections should not be granted at the behest of freedom of speech and unreasonable impact on others.”
A petition is circulating to ask the minister to not enact any legislation at this time at http://www.stopsopaireland.com. Blacknight is urging the Internet community to share the site and spread the word that this sort of legislation will not be tolerated.
Simon McGarr of McGarr Solicitors, a litigation lawyer based in Dublin who stands with Blacknight on this issue states: “Irish Internet users are in a race to save their Internet. The Minister has said he is bringing in this bad law before the end of January, with no Dáil debate.
McGarr Solicitors urges everyone who cares about the free exchange of ideas to sign the Stop SOPA Ireland petition at stopsopaireland.com, before the Irish Internet starts to go dark.”
Join Blacknight and many other Irish technology companies in saying “No” to Internet censorship.
To learn more about stopping Irelands SOPA and defending Internet freedom visit http://www.stopsopaireland.com and http://blog.blacknight.com/say-no-to-an-irish-sopa-style-law-say-yes-to-democracy.html