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Greens urge government to abandon plans for filesharing laws

The Green Party wants the government to abandon plans which would force ISPs to block access for illegal downloaders.

Image: DeclanTM via Flickr

THE GREEN PARTY has urged the government to abandon its plans to legislate against illegal downloading – urging it to follow the lead of the White House.

The White House has pledged not to support the SOPA and PIPA acts currently making their way through Congress, saying any legislation to block piracy must not inhibit genuine innovation.

Today the Greens’ leader, former communications minister Eamon Ryan, called on the government to follow that example – and not to proceed with plans ordering ISPs to disconnect users who are ‘committing digital copyright theft’.

“We do need to protect copyright for our creative industries but the Government is going about it in the wrong way,” Ryan argued.

Rather than infringing on basic privacy rights, they should look at measures which would curtail the search, payment and advertising capabilities of those companies and websites that profit from piracy.

Ryan said the government was introducing legislation as a result of a legal case from music publishers, who claimed the government’s failure to legislate was in breach of their European rights – and that this case was “very questionable”.

“The Government should re-assert the right of the Dail rather than vested interests to decide on what laws we need to pass,” he said.

Ryan called on the public to contact innovation minister Seán Sherlock to share their opinions on the proposals before they are issued.

Sherlock said last month that he would issue legislation in January, filling a legal void created by a High Court case which found that courts could not allow injunctions to block access to filesharing websites.

That case had been taken by EMI music – which is now suing the state for its failure to legislate in accordance with EU law.

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Gavan Reilly

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