Irish SOPA signed into law

The "Irish SOPA" law, which makes provision for arbitrary, ISP-level national censorship without court orders, has been signed -- despite the law's unpopularity and the widespread protests against it.

The Irish Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, is insisting that the final version of the bill is much more limited than earlier proposals, and that it took guidance from recent EU Court of Justice rulings that say ISPs shouldn't have to be proactive about blocking. That still means that copyright holders can petition to force ISPs to block all access to various websites, and as we've seen in other countries in Europe, you can bet that the major record labels and studios will be doing just that very soon (if they haven't already) -- though their track record on properly calling out infringement isn't very good.

Ireland Signs Controversial 'Irish SOPA' Into Law; Kicks Off New Censorship Regime


  1. This is the first wave of many countries that will push through this type of legislation without the consent or support of the majority. The free and open Internet is, quite possibly, the greatest chance that the world’s oppressed majority has at tipping the scales towards a more peaceful and just society. The few that manipulate the masses for profit know this and will do everything that they can to censor and destroy it to maintain the status quo. It is my opinion that promoting a free and uncensored Internet will be one of the defining battles that our race will encounter. Do not believe anyone that tells you that this type of legislation is about battling copyright infringement. They are either lying or they do not see the forest through the trees. Putting a kill-switch on the web in order to battle piracy is like slitting your throat to stop your nose from bleeding. It has never been about copyright, it is about the control of ideas. Fight it.

    1.  I agree.  South Korea is in the process of ratifying a FTA with the US that contains much of the same, in the name of protecting American IP, whereas, in reality, this treaty could be used to put people off the internet simply for political reasons. 

      The United States is helping other countries to control the flow of information in a manner that may not contribute to democracy or may be used to hinder such.  This is not the America I grew up believing in.

      1. Yes, they sold us a huge lie. The good news is that more people realize this every day and it is getting harder and harder to perpetuate the lie. We will see over the next few years if the world’s majority will try to stop this trend in information control or just lay down and accept defeat. We truly live in interesting and restless times.

  2. Seems like I wasn´t the only one watching the arab spring, pondering how long it will take for western politicians to realize that the internet has the potential do the same in their countries. Not so keen on those tools of democracy and liberation now, are we?

    Also: Useless gobshites.

    1. Yeah, the Arab Spring wasn’t caused by the internet.

      And Sherlock et al aren’t authoritarians, they’re free market tools. Important difference, even if the net result is still crap for internet users.

      1. If you read my post carefully you will find that I didn´t say the arab spring was caused by the internet. That would be a rather naive claim to make, wouldn´t it? Maybe I should have been clearer in what the thing that the internet did was, namely facilitate organization among revolutionary forces, but I assumed this was common knowledge around here.

        1. I understand what you’re saying, but even still,  I think the relevance of the internet is over-stated generally with regard to the Arab Spring. The vast majority of those involved don’t actually have internet access. And even the ones who do use an internet which is already censored.

          Effective direct action tends to be pretty old-fashioned. A decentralised, web-centric mass protest would look more like the Occupy movement, and be about as challenging to those in authority.

          1. So are you arguing that the internet actually isn´t a tool that facilitates revolutionary action? I don´t have deep inside knowledge of the proceedings during the arab spring, but I´m sure even one in a hundred people at an organizational level connected with others online makes a difference.

            The difference in challenge posed to authority by the occupy movement is not designated by their form of communication but by their willingness to use force.
            The occupy movement´s localized chapters are not acting in much of a concerted fashion anyway, but if they were to decide to take forceful, coordinated action it´s no question that online communication would make a major difference.

          2. “I think the relevance of the internet is over-stated generally with regard to the Arab Spring.”

            This also must have been what the Egyptian authorities were thinking when they hurriedly blacked out the Internet during the uprising.

        2. (Some sort of nesting limit has been reached, so I’m replying here to your newer comment, beginning “So are you arguing that …”) 

          Sure the internet is useful, I’m just saying that it’s one of many tools, it isn’t indispensable, and that it’s significance is relative to it’s penetration.
          Removing or restricting access to it won’t keep a bad government in power. Quite the opposite, in a democracy.

          1. Yeah but by that logic, a hammer is not indispensable when you are building a house because you can always use a rock to pound the nails in. 

  3. Given that this is Ireland, I suppose we should be counting ourselves lucky that only ‘copyright holders’ rather than ‘copyright holders and catholic clergy of bishop level or higher’ are allowed to employ extrajudicial takedowns…

  4. It’s about time someone builds a p2p Firefox plugin for this. Can’t connect to website? Ask peers in other countries to check dns / connectivity to the website. If they succeed – switch to Tor proxy for that website.

  5. So, it has come to this. ( )

    Jokes aside, if I were an entertainment journalist I’d make a point to ask every single band I know, every single celebrity, every single producer, possibly on camera: “So, does it feel good to censor the Internet? Your name will be in the history books among the ones who took away freedom from the online world. Are you happy about that?”

    Bonus points for asking anyone currently pushing a movie about the Holocaust/Civil Rights struggles/freedom of the press/fight against some oppressor.

    That would be funny. It’s a shame that entertainment journalists are just a bunch of talentless, spineless hacks, so it will never happen.

    1. If only it was just entertainment journalists. Here are a couple of poorly disguised propaganda pieces from Irelands paper of record:

      Outrage at Sherlock’s web move borders on absurd

      Polite Sherlock tries to reply to all abusive callers

      One popular website published his mobile phone and landline numbers. This resulted in an avalanche of voice and text messages, a large number of them using threatening and abusive language. “From the voices and the style of writing, I reckoned a lot of them were from teenagers, angry because they thought I was going to shut down the internet.” However, Mr Sherlock is a courteous soul and he tried to respond to as many as he could.


    Let’s hope the digital game of major labels in Ireland continues to be this crap, no matter how good their lobbying is.There’s almost no content, ten tiny bits of info, and three tiny news articles.
    If you click on the covers of the ten albums, 7 of them will bring you to a 404 error page, because they weren’t written properly. Not only were they too fucking lazy to make proper links, they were too fucking lazy to see if they worked.
    The copyright date hasn’t been updated this year, see bottom left. Hey EMI! I thought you were going to marry copyright some day. Doesn’t look like it.
    Ha! Just noticed the huge Pink Floyd link is broken too. Stupid cunts.
    It looks like shit.Note that nearly all the “Buy” links are pointing to iTunes. Yep, definitely files-haring to blame for the drop in CD sales.

    That’s the consistent problem causing reduced revenue to Majors. They have a shit digital game, and file-sharing sites do it better.

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