Ireland Looks To Add Fair Use To Copyright Law... And This Is Seen As Radical?

from the fair-use-is-radical? dept

Following on the UK's recent review of copyright laws, supposedly to look at ways to add things like US-style fair use exceptions, it looks like Ireland may be considering something similar. The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, announced that he's heard from enough businesses that copyright is holding back some innovative businesses models, and one suggestion he's interested in would be to see fair use in Irish copyright law:
Some companies have indicated that the current copyright legislation does not cater well for the digital environment and actually creates barriers to innovation and to the establishment of new business models. Moving towards a US-style 'fair use' doctrine is one suggestion that has been made.

I am determined to respond to these suggestions in a comprehensive and timely manner. It is not wise to make changes to this extremely complex area of legislation without first considering the issues in detail.

Therefore, I have commenced a time-limited review of the law in the area to be conducted by three industry experts. The review will include a full consultation process with all relevant stakeholders, and the entire process will be complete within six months.
This is positioned in the article as being "radical." Yeah, that kind of shows you the state of copyright laws these days: when a cautious review of copyright laws to see if a minor exception that is already known to be successful in the US might possibly under certain conditions makes sense, it's described as "radical reform."

Of course, what's really surprising about this is that, following a recent court ruling in Ireland that said that ISPs couldn't be forced to terminate accounts of people accused of copyright infringement, the industry had been pushing in the other direction.

Of course, I fully expect that this will lead to a similar attack on fair use in Ireland to what we've seen in the UK lately. Remember, the UK publishers claimed that fair use strangles innovation and others claimed that fair use is bad because it leads to lawsuits. Both arguments are laughable, but seem to have been effective in the UK, so expect to see the same thing in Ireland.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    herbert, May 10th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    i hope there is more sense used on this in Ireland, than was used in the UK. for the UK to use the reasons they did for disallowing any type of 'fair use' or any thing else that would force the copyright industries to produce new business models, was a complete joke. there had to be some serious sized pay packets dished out to the right people then. lets hope it is different here.
    but with those same industries doing their best to force the EU to accept ACTA as it is, without allowing the ECJ to examine what parts would be illegal in EU law, expect some really heavy lobbying to take place against anything like this!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    crade (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    The way to do it is to implement fair use for the photo op, then also implement legal DRM protection in such a way that completely nullifies it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    stakeholders again

    who are exactly the stakeholders? It's been noted that the copyright companies are NOT staskeholders. So are they holding this with the public or aren't they?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Re: stakeholders again

    Nop, because Stakeholders, in this case, actually means those who pay the politicos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Ed C., May 10th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re: stakeholders again

    I think by "stakeholders" they really mean those who hold a stake in their reelection campaign.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Ryan, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Everything intelligent is "radical"

    This is positioned in the article as being "radical." Yeah, that kind of shows you the state of copyright laws these days: when a cautious review of copyright laws to see if a minor exception that is already known to be successful in the US might possibly under certain conditions makes sense, it's described as "radical reform."

    This isn't just copyright reform; this is pretty much every issue these days. I couldn't count the number of times I've heard someone denounced in recent months as a "radical nutjob" or something of the sort because he/she suggested ending the Fed, reforming entitlements, or even just maintaining federal spending at last year's record levels.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Christopher (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Everything intelligent is "radical"

    With all due respect, federal spending is not anywhere near 'record levels' when you take into account inflation. When you do that, you find out that we were spending a lot more in the 1970's than we are today.

    Since we have ALSO increased our population by a good amount since then? I don't understand why people would say that federal spending should go DOWN right now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Maximists positions are so radical that sane concepts like fair use seem extreme

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    *extreme to them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Claire Ryan (profile), May 15th, 2011 @ 6:22pm

    Don't bet on it

    Much as I'd like to see fair use being introduced in Ireland, I really, really doubt it'll happen anytime soon.

    The Irish government is characterised by corruption and close links to business; they're an old boys' club with the dial turned up to eleven, and many are supremely ignorant of modern technology and the Internet. This is the same government mentality, for example, that allowed a previous Minister to collude with businessmen in the sale of the nation's second mobile phone license, an act for which he still has not served any prison time - and he probably never will.

    http://www.irishexaminerusa.com/mt/2011/03/29/tribunal_finds_lowry_helped_ob.html

    If a fair use clause was proposed, I'm reasonably certain that a few things would happen:

    1 - any expert opinions will be provided by businesses who have an interest in it being permanently shelved.

    2 - the government will spend a truly mind-boggling amount of time debating it, on the level of years if not decades.

    3 - a staggering amount of money will be wasted in the debate, most of which will go to business associates of the politicians supervising it.

    4 - in the end, nothing will actually be done and no changes will be made.

    This might seem overly pessimistic, but honestly, it's about what you can expect from the Dáil these days. They tend to talk in circles rather than get things done, because if things are done, things can go wrong, and they don't want the blame.

    That and considering how badly fucked the country is right now, it probably won't be long before the introduction of fair use will be the least of Ireland's problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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