The Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, has announced the signing into law of the European Union (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2012 and urged all interested parties to focus now on making Ireland a model of international best practice for innovation, and ensuring that our copyright laws facilitate the achievement of this goal. Minister Sherlock also launched the next stage of the Copyright Review Committee review of Ireland’s copyright legislation, aimed at removing barriers to innovation.

Commenting on the Statutory Instrument, the Minister acknowledged the desire of some interested parties that it be more detailed and more prescriptive. However he re-stated that the High Court now has significant guidance from the European Court of Justice on the implementation of the measure, and will have to ensure any remedy provided will uphold the following principles:

Freedom to conduct a business enjoyed by operators such as ISPs;

The absolute requirement that an ISP cannot be required to carry out general monitoring on the information it carries on its network;

Any measures must be fair and proportionate and not be unnecessarily complicated or costly;

The fundamental rights of an ISPs’ customers must be respected, namely their right to protection of their personal data and their freedom to receive or impart information.
 

Making the announcement, the Minister said: “I believe that in Ireland we must build on our very substantial achievements in the creative and digital media industry, and become a model of international best practice for innovation in this area. Ireland is home to some of the world’s most innovative Internet companies, and we are determined to grow our reputation as a location where smart people and smart companies can innovate in this fast-moving arena.

“On many previous occasions I have outlined the reasons why it is necessary for us to proceed to sign this Statutory Instrument in order to ensure compliance with our obligations under EU law. As there are clearly many diverse interests, it is important that interested parties come together and work in a constructive way to map the path forward. For this reason I am particularly anxious that the consultation paper launched today is studied and comprehensively responded to by all interested parties.”

“The challenge now is to examine what measures we can take to develop Ireland’s laws in this area in such a way as to provide the greatest possible encouragement for innovation in the creative and digital industries to take place here.”

“This is a very complex area of law, which affects industries that are developing at lightning pace, and where the interests of many diverse and changing parties interact with each other. My ambition to make Ireland a model of international best practice in this area will not be easily achieved, and as this debate develops I urge all interested parties on all sides to come together and work in a constructive and realistic way to the benefit of all.”

“In that context, I am happy to launch the consultation paper of the Copyright Review Committee. I am committed to reviewing and updating the Copyright legislation currently in place in order to strike the correct balance between encouraging innovation and protecting creativity. This paper has been prepared by the Copyright Review Committee in response to submissions received and public engagement. I urge all interested parties, including information providers and ISPs, innovators, rights holders, consumers and end-users, to study it carefully and engage in a constructive debate on all the issues”.

“This is a valuable opportunity for all interested parties to express their views and to make a meaningful contribution towards shaping the future development of Irish copyright law. I am confident that the work being carried out by the Copyright Review Committee, with the interaction and input of the interested parties, will result in establishing Irish copyright law on a firm footing to encourage innovation, foster creativity and meet the challenges of the future with confidence”.

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