I DEDICATED MY SUNDAY NEWSROUND to making a shout-out to Sean Sherlock, the Dail deputy empowered to hammer home the Irish version of SOPA that will damage the innovation culture of Ireland. I'm unsure whether the Deputy is listening to the chorus of advice emanating from the Irish tech sector.
I've made a YouTube clip about the problem, using the excellent points raised by Adrian Weckler in his Sunday Business Post columns. Without being hyperbolic, I believe Ireland is at the same point in transitional history as the world was when the Church was trying to constrain Gutenberg from printing copies of the Bible for the common man.
Closer to the present, I know how easy it will be for a big business to get a court order that constrains a small company from displaying information on its website. With a well-argued copyright allegation, the music business could obtain a court order shut down a URL if the judge felt the alleged offender hadn't paid the market rate for a music sample in promotional material on a website. This happens now whenever This Week in Tech plays certain video segments about contentious issues on YouTube. If the TWiT newsclip merely repeats a portion of a video clip while a panel of experts discusses it, a rights holder can simply petition YouTube to pull the clip. With the Irish version of the law, a judge could be persuaded to shut down the entire website, not just an infringing video clip. This is wrong on so many levels. And yet, that's the kind of judicial power that Sean Sherlock and friends want to cede to the judiciary.
Don't Irish politicians see the immense harm they will inflict upon innovative creatives in the start-up community if they pass this law?
Text browsers can listen at http://www.insideview.ie/files/shout-out-to-sean-sherlock-td.mp3