Silicon Republic; an article regarding Radical Copyright Law Reform in Ireland.

Silicon Republic article regarding ‘Radical Copyright Law Reform’  in Ireland.

This morning (09/05/2011) Silicon Republic reported on a radical overhaul  of Ireland’s Copyright Law, this is interesting given that most discussions in this area have been limited in recent times to the three strikes and  you’re out nexus of anti-innovation. I am adding here the current link to the SR reportage, and a couple of links which focus on originators of work and their options in publication . In this case, mostly my focus is on poetry and poetics, as that is what this blog is  about.

Poets have been innovating in this area for quite a period of time and have produced documents on fair-use , creative commons and best practices in  digitisation and social-media. I consider the issue of copyright (and especially of artist-led discussion in this area) to be of the utmost importance, therefore I have added a permanent link to the Poetry Foundation website onto my landing-page. This page shows at the top of all posts and articles, along with three others which form the impetus of what this blog is about, women-poets (editors and translators),the literary arts, the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights,  and about the poethead blog.

This morning Minister Bruton said: “I am determined that government will make whatever changes are necessary to allow innovative digital companies reach their full potential in Ireland. These companies make an enormous contribution to jobs and economic growth, and government must do everything it can to allow them to flourish and expand in Ireland.

“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.”

Barriers to innovation at all levels of creative output include the misunderstanding of copyright conventions, or inability to properly utilise such innovations as Creative Commons licenses, which allow  artists to set up copyrights (including derivative rights).

Derivatives in poetics include: translations, adaption (incl.musical) pictorial adaptionsfilm,musical references, translation from (both collaborative/non-collaborative) and quotations from,   it is in the nature of poetry to lend itself to innovation. A simple example of derivation  is (for instance) Leonard Cohens adaption of Federico Garcia Lorca‘s ‘Little Viennese Waltz‘. (or we could go with Dante!) The adaption would not occur if artistic inspiration were stymied by copyright law that sought to lock-in how a piece of material is used. To this end , I  am linking in a discussion  regarding digisation, adaption and transmission from the Harriet Monroe institute which  is titled ‘code of best practices in fair use for poetry‘ to illustrate how artists are  driving discussions in this area of  concern. The problems with previous discussions here in Ireland included that the  consultation process was limited to big organisations who were perceived as  the only stakeholders on the issue of copyright by our previous Govt,  and quite ignorantly leaving out the artist/originator’s  perspective on derivations.

We cannot forget that the creative arts have many stakeholders who are already  concerned in this area and who have created and developed manifestos based on  their understanding of the development of original works ! I am adding here an  article relating to current  Portugese problems , which imo do not take cognisance of the right of the artist/originator to set and maintain their own copyright . The onus is on  politicians to read and understand that artists better get the process of creation and adaption,  and in order to radicalise from that point, the consultation should necessarily be wide.

Additional Notes , The Harriet Monroe Institute , centre for social media discussion, Portugal to make Creative Commons illegal ?:

“Embracing the overarching value of access to poetry as its theme, the group saw that business, technological, and societal shifts had profound implications for poets publishing both in new and in traditional media, and also that poets have an opportunity to take a central role in expanding access to a broad range of poetry in coming months and years. Almost immediately, the group’s conversation focused on barriers to poetic innovation and distribution caused by clearance issues. Some of these clearance issues develop from the business structures underlying poetry publishing, but a significant number, the group discovered, relate to institutional practices that might be reconsidered, including both poets’ and publishers’ approaches to quoting and other types of possible fair use. Soon after its first meeting, the group began discussing the possibility of developing “best practices” for poets and publishers.

 Reported problems with Creative Commons in Portugal.

“Article 3, point 1 – The authors have the right to the perception of a compensation equitable for the reproduction of written works, in paper or similar support, for instance microfilm, photocopy, digitalization or other processes of similar nature.

Article 5 (Inalienability and non-renunciability) – The equitable compensation of authors, artists, interpreters or executives is inalienable and non-renunciable, being null any other contractual clause in contrary.”

  1. [  From ]
  2. [Source docs ]  >   
  3.     Submissions to the Copyright Review Committee should be sent to or posted to: Copyright Review, Room 517, Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Submissions should be received by close of business on Thursday 30th June 2011.
  4.  Edit January 2012:  “Is Ireland about to introduce a law that will allow music companies to order Internet service providers to block access to websites? I rang up the Minister of State at the department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, to find out. “The statutory instrument to be introduced is completely different to Sopa [Stop Online Piracy Act] in America” he told me. “We are simply addressing the High Court judgment handed down by Mr Justice Peter Charleton in relation to copyright law… I will introduce this imminently, by the end of January.” That’s a yes, then … ”  from

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