Hanafin Denies Copyright Changes Claim

Minister for Enterprise Mary Hanafin has denied she will make changes to Ireland's copyright laws before leaving office.

Speculation mounted in recent days over the High Court ruling in which internet service provider UPC and others were found not liable for illegal downloading by their customers. The case had been brought by a number of music labels led by EMI.

Responding to the speculation on Friday morning, Ms Hanafin said: "There is absolutely no truth in the rumour circulating in the media that I am about to sign a statutory instrument relating to the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 and/or the EU Copyright Directive 2001."

Minister Hanafin said that in light of the court decision her Department had been working in consultation with the Attorney General's Office to address the question raised over Ireland’s compliance with the EU Copyright Directive.

She said the consultations have not concluded and there was no question of legislation being rushed through.

Minister Hanafin said: "It would be normal practice within the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation to consult all the relevant stakeholders in advance of legislation such as this being enacted. I would expect that this consultation will take place when the Department and the new Minister have a clearer view of the best way forward on this issue."

The original ruling had noted a gap in Irish legislation under which the State was not complying with European law, making the illegality of downloads being unenforceable.


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