Add Your Pledge
Sign Up to Visit Your TDs this week to Say NO to Ireland’s SOPA
Visiting Your TDs
More than 80,000 people signed the petition to Minister Sherlock opposing the Irish SOPA Statutory Instrument. On February 30th, he announced to the Dáil his intention to make no alterations to the SI.
Now, only a massive movement of constituents to visit Fine Gael and Labour TDs on Saturday, 04 February can deliver the party pressure needed to make Minister Sherlock relent.
Pledge to visit your Labour and Fine Gael TDs and tell them they have lost your vote.
To make meeting up with your TD as easy as can be, here are some resources that might be helpful:
- Pledge Day: What to Say to Your TD
- What to Expect When You Visit Your TD [PDF, 108k]
- TDs by Constituency
Irish voters are making history with this campaign, and every single person who turns out is taking part in something spectacular!
What is “Ireland’s SOPA”?
SOPA is the name of a piece of US legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act, recently proposed in the US. It caused an Internet-wide outcry due to its far-reaching implications; way beyond simply closing access to outlaw file sharing websites, it would have enabled law enforcement to block access to entire internet domains due to infringing material posted on a single blog or webpage.
A similar proposal is about to become law in Ireland. And while 7 million Americans contacted their representatives to say No to SOPA in the US, Irish citizens will not get that chance because the new law in Ireland is not being voted on in the Oireachtas.
Instead, the law is being enacted by ministerial order. This new law will give music and movie companies the legal leverage to force Irish ISPs like UPC, Eircom and mobile networks to block access to sites suspected of having copyrighted material on them. It also means judges can order ISPs to block access to sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter where an individual user from anywhere in the world has shared infringing material.
Why It Matters
- If this is passed, sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other popular sites may be blocked in Ireland. These sites depend on user-created content. With one injunction based on one bad link from one person, all of Ireland could lose access to a news site, social network, video sharing or any other kind of site.
- Site owners faced with one of Minister Sherlock’s injunctions will have no legal recourse without a €30,000+ legal warchest. The new law mandates no warning process, no mediation and no appeals process outside the High Court. Smaller sites including individual blogs, podcasts and independent news sources who don’t have the money to mount the costly legal campaign needed to defend themselves will automatically lose out to corporate interests with deep pockets.
- This statute is about to become law with no vote in the Oireachtas. Instead, Minister Sherlock has stated that he intends to issue a ministerial order. This law affects all 4.3 million people in Ireland; something so fundamental should properly be debated and legislated by our elected representatives.
- This legislation is bad for the Irish economy. It jeopardises the fundamental operation of our largest tech employers including Facebook and Google, is hostile to investment and relocation, and stifles our technology startups.
What You Can Do
Minister Sherlock has announced he plans to bring this order for signature imminently, so it is important to act now and to raise as many voices as possible in opposition. You can:
- Pledge to visit your TDs on February 4th.
In addition, you can help to promote this cause:
- Sign the petition on this site to email your objection to Minister Sherlock
- Share this site with your friends and colleagues by email, on Facebook and on Twitter.