Why #CRC12 is not #sopaIreland

Copyright SymbolIn the press release announcing the publication of the Copyright Review Committee Consultation Paper mentioned in my previous post (and which I hope will be discussed on twitter at the hashtag #CRC12), the Minister also announced the signing into law of the European Union (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2012 (SI No 59 of 2012). This Statutory Instrument (SI) relates to the availability of injunctions by rights-holders against intermediaries to prevent copyright infringement by the intermediaries’ customers (which has the twitter hashtag #sopaIreland). I cannot stress enough that this issue is separate and distinct from the work of the Committee, and is not dealt with in the Paper. In other words, as the title to this post says, #CRC12 is not #sopaireland. Much has been written already about the SI when it was in draft form; and doubtless more will be said now that it has been brought into force. However, it was not within the remit of the Committee, and I hope the parallel publication of the SI and the Paper does not detract from the issues canvassed in our Paper (update: you can download a pdf of the Paper here (via DJEI) or here (from this site)).

In our Final Report, we hope to be able to provide draft heads of a Copyright and Related Rights (Innovation) (Amendment) Bill, 2012, (the Bill) to implement our recommendations. Moreover, one of the questions which we pose in the Paper is whether all of the amendments to the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 (also here) which are still in force should be consolidated into that proposed Bill. If that is done, then the SI would be incorporated into the Bill, and there would be scope at that stage to revisit the issue. In particular, if there were matters that could not be addressed in the SI, due to the relatively limited scope allowed to SIs in amending principal Acts for EU reasons, there would be no reason why these matters could not be discussed for inclusion in that Bill.

That, however, will be a matter for the Minister in due course. In the meantime, please don’t confuse the SI with the Consultation Paper. If you are interested in that, please participate in the next round of submissions. These should be received by close of business on Friday 13 April 2012 Thursday 31 May 2012. There will also be a public meeting from 10:00am until 12:00 noon, on Saturday 24 March 2012, in the Robert Emmet Lecture Theatre, Room 2037 Arts Block (map here), Trinity College Dublin. Attendance is free and open to anyone interested in the work of the Committee, but registration is necessary. To make a submission, or to register for the public meeting, please email the Review.

Update: you may also make a submission via the Committee’s online questionnaire, or via any of the other online submission mechanisms being made available by many interested parties.

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