Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ireland's SOPA proposal that you can't actually vote on

Just found out today that the motherland has gone the way of American senators, bowing down to pressure from the EU and international corporations in regard to intellectual property rights and all that jazz. Infuriating.

You can sign the petition online here

I've also written a long email to the ministers and am currently firing copies to everyone associated with Limerick (yes, I got a bit carried away with the letter...sigh). Do the same for your own county and let's get this thing under control!

This image sums up one of the associated issues of this entire fiasco:

Bye bye, democracy, it was nice knowing you, even if you were broken.

Dear Minister,

I write in regard to the proposed enactment of “S.I. No. of 2011 European Communities (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2011.”

I worked in the field of intellectual property (IP) for almost 2 years in the UK, gaining qualifications in the subject, so I feel that I have some insight into the detrimental impact of this proposed change.

With reference to the costly injunction system, (which few private citizens could afford, regardless of guilt or innocence), the new law would favour the special interest of corporations over the rights of individual citizens. Many of these corporations are not even based in Ireland, so such favouritism would in no way benefit the country.

I am not against financial gain and control over one’s IP (that should be and is legally protected), but I have major concerns for the sweeping changes of the new proposal.

Ireland has always been an island rich in artistic and musical achievements and such legislation will greatly stifle the creative potential of our nation, curbing citizens’ rights to explore new media and share ideas. Such an imposition on personal freedoms also has a knock on effect on the economy, which is clearly in a dire state.

Ireland is respected and internationally renowned for her cultural achievements. The newly proposed legislation could cut Ireland off from the rest of the world in terms of sharing sites (like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). The country cannot compete in such a stifling environment and will become insulated, separated from the international community.

I believe there is also a duty to respect the wishes of the public, who clearly do not want this legislation to pass. The will of the people must be respected, and it shocks me that the decision on this law is constrained to the Ministers. For this reason, I urge you to please take my views into consideration and share them freely so that the right decision, to vote against the proposed enactment, is carried out.

The people of Ireland, not international multi-million pound corporations, need to be able to trust that their Ministers will protect their views, their interests, and their personal freedoms. It would be an admirable step to move against this proposal, and set a precedent for other countries to follow suit.

I am currently studying abroad, returning frequently to Limerick. Should such oppressive legislation become accepted, I would see it as a death knell to the happy, open, democratic system that I grew up admiring during my youth.