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26-01-2012, 13:49   #1
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An open letter from to Minister Sean Sherlock and Copyright
Since our inception, Boards has had a policy against copyright breaching Bittorrent links. We've been here for 12 years now and that's been our policy long before anyone came and made us adopt it.

We do not support piracy.

We also do not support bad law.

More than 2 Million different people use Boards every month. We reach a lot of people and a lot of people use us to communicate with each other.

We employ two full-time staff to respond to take down notices. That is a cost we bear to protect other people's copyright. A cost we do not see recouped from the rights holders.

We are not slack about this issue.

Proposed New Law
Minister Seán Sherlock has proposed a new law which is best explained here:
It will be enacted by a single stroke of his pen.

Why are we opposed to this law?
1. It is vague in the extreme. There are no details of what is considered a transgression. It isn't clear if the site targeted will even be informed of the proceedings.

2. The mere threat that allowing a user to post content could land the service in court will ensure that no service allows it. The implications are no more social media for Ireland, who the hell is going to take that risk?? This scares us greatly but will TERRIFY the likes of Google, Twitter, Facebook. Of course we have to stay here and live with it. They and their thousands of jobs, don't.

3. Its not fair. This is akin to letting Bank of Ireland take proceedings against the National Toll Roads Ltd when a getaway-driver uses the M50. Pretty soon, no one will want to build roads.

4. It kills innovation and scares away foreign investment. Boards might have the clout and money to fight some of these injunctions. Smaller operators simply won’t.

5. This wont even work. This will take the pirates 10 minutes to circumvent and I can demonstrate that easily if anyone wants to see.

Bad Law
This is the very definition of bad law. It punishes those who are trying to do what is right while doing nothing to stop the criminals. It seems to follow the headless chicken logic of "Something must be done!!! This is something, therefore we must do this!!"

Why is this being pushed through on the signature of one man without proper consultation with the industry and with the people of Ireland (over 45,000 of whom have already signed a petition against this)?

It won’t work, its vastly over powered and punishes the wrong people. It’s bad law and I'm asking Minister Sherlock to reconsider it.

If you wish to contact Minister Sherlock yourself, you can do so via his website:

Tom Murphy
Founder. Director.
tom .at.
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26-01-2012, 14:02   #2
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There is also if you wish to sign their protest petition.

Or you can contact your td(s) here

Last edited by DeVore; 26-01-2012 at 14:05.
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26-01-2012, 15:50   #3
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Trying to understand the wording. But does this mean as little as a youtube video posted here that infringes on copyright could shut this site down?
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26-01-2012, 15:51   #4
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26-01-2012, 15:53   #5
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Full Wording

Full wording here:

entitled European Union (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2012
To be made by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

I, _____________, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 3 of the European Communities Act 1972 (No. 27 of 1972) and for the purpose of giving further effect to Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 O.J. No. L. 167, 22.6.2001, p.10., hereby make the following regulations:

1. These Regulations may be cited as the European Union (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2012.

2. The Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (No. 28 of 2000) is amended -

(a) in section 40, by inserting the following subsection after subsection (5):

(5A) (a) The owner of the copyright in a work may, in respect of that work, apply to the High Court for an injunction against an intermediary to whom paragraph 3 of Article 8 of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 200111 O.J. No. L. 167, 22.6.2001, p.10. on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society applies.

(b) In considering an application for an injunction under this subsection, the court shall have due regard to the rights of any person likely to be affected by virtue of the grant of any such injunction and the court shall give such directions (including, where appropriate, a direction requiring a person be notified of the application) as the court considers appropriate in all of the circumstances.”, and

in section 205, by inserting the following subsection after subsection (9):

“(9A) (a) The rightsowner of any right conferred by Parts III and IV may, in respect of that right, apply to the High Court for an injunction against an intermediary to whom paragraph 3 of Article 8 of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 200111 O.J. No. L. 167, 22.6.2001, p.10. on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society applies.

(b) In considering an application for an injunction under this subsection, the court shall have due regard to the rights of any person likely to be affected by virtue of the grant of any such injunction and the court shall grant such directions (including, where appropriate, a direction requiring a person to be notified of the application) as the court considers appropriate in all the circumstances.”.

GIVEN under my Official Seal,
____________ 2012.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
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26-01-2012, 15:57   #6
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Some dose alright..
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26-01-2012, 15:58   #7
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I'm delighted to see this issue raised so prominently in on

I would encourage anyone interested in digital rights issues to look into the good work of done here at home by and in the EU.

The US have a strong safety net for digital rights issues in the form of the EFF. We need to support similar protection agencies here wherever we can.
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26-01-2012, 15:58   #8
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Originally Posted by empacher View Post
Trying to understand the wording. But does this mean as little as a youtube video posted here that infringes on copyright could shut this site down?
Potentially yes. The instrument is so vague (and you can read it for yourself here: that its not clear that we would even be informed that its happening.

We could just drop off the irish ISP's DNS's and would be slapped with an injunction.

There is nothing in the instrument to stop Big Content from sending us 20 injunctions... only their willingness to "play fair".
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26-01-2012, 16:00   #9
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WP on putting up the announcement in such a way. Gonna give it great exposure
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26-01-2012, 16:00   #10
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Using cloud skin, the text doesn't display on that popup.

Nobody thinks of us cloud skin users anymore
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26-01-2012, 16:02   #11
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Signed, 46939, you would think there would be more!
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26-01-2012, 16:03   #13
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After all the blackouts to stop the Americans it is nothing short of amazing this man thinks he can sneak the same legislation in here without any debate.

Lets make sure he doesn't ever have the chance to do this again, make sure he is never elected to anything, not even a kids GAA club.
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26-01-2012, 16:04   #14
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Signed, damnit we wont go down without a fight! Sean Sherlock is a joke end of story!
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26-01-2012, 16:06   #15
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Would this also mean if I copied text from a website and pasted it on here that it would be considered an infringement and therefore shut down this site?

Is there a question of our democracy here? How can one man sign into law something that will adversly affect the vast majority of the people?

Keep the internet free!
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