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Boards.ie forced to change content policy after #IrishSOPA enacted into law

Censored Boards.ie
Censored Boards.ie
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Boards.ie, Ireland’s largest internet forum, has been forced to change its policy regarding the posting of copyrighted material just days after the enactment of Ireland’s own SOPA-style legislation.

A thread posted by Boards.ie Community Manager Dav Waldron this evening reads,

“Despite our best efforts, Minister Seán Sherlock still signed his fundamentally flawed SI [statutory instrument] on copyright into law this week and the knock on effect is that we will be reviewing and probably implementing changes to how we have to deal with issues around the use of copyrighted material on the site.”

Dav continued saying that full details of any policy change had not yet been finalised, however, some changes would be implemented immediately. Changes that take immediate effect include:

  • users can no longer post links to streams of copyrighted or licensed content, like sporting events. As it stands, this does not affect links posted to YouTube videos.
  • users can no longer post full articles from other websites or blogs. Users can, however, post one complete paragraph with a link to its source.

Now ye're talking' (sort of)

Boards.ie is Ireland’s 16th most-visited website, recording around 760,000 unique visitors each month.

This is only the beginning. Boards.ie are reviewing with “legal experts” on how best to deal with the fall-out from #IrishSOPA. Subsequent broad and far-reaching changes will likely emerge from this.

While Boards.ie has never condoned the posting of copyright material in their 14-year history, SOPA Ireland has given copyright holders the power to seek court proceedings against the internet service providers that serve-up Boards.ie pages – proceedings that could potentially force them to censor Boards.ie from the Irish public.

24 Comments

  1. @thesociable Not sure thats entirely accurate. Posting pics in particular qithout oermission was always legally dubious

  2. @thesociable Not sure thats entirely accurate. Posting pics in particular qithout oermission was always legally dubious

    1. @faduda Which bit? The changes are work in progress. Nothing new on images yet – which, as you say, has always been strict, and rightly so

      1. @thesociable @stoneycoughlan Copyright law (as it applies to images, articles, etc) hasn’t changed. Only the possible sanction changed

        1. @faduda @thesociable @stoneycoughlan Posting of full articles as often done by boards.ie users should have always been stopped by the site

        2. @cianginty @thesociable @stoneycoughlan @Nerin_ More interesting is the “posting first par is ok” Boards line. Arbitrary. No legal basis

        3. @cianginty @thesociable @stoneycoughlan @Nerin_ Worth stating also, Boards not the only Irish site where copy/images reproduced

        4. @faduda @thesociable @stoneycoughlan will Broadsheet stop screencapping articles and posting them now? That is bloody awful practice.

  3. @thesociable Not sure thats entirely accurate. Posting pics in particular qithout oermission was always legally dubious

    1. @faduda Which bit? The changes are work in progress. Nothing new on images yet – which, as you say, has always been strict, and rightly so

      1. @thesociable @stoneycoughlan Copyright law (as it applies to images, articles, etc) hasn’t changed. Only the possible sanction changed

        1. @faduda @thesociable @stoneycoughlan Posting of full articles as often done by boards.ie users should have always been stopped by the site

        2. @cianginty @thesociable @stoneycoughlan @Nerin_ More interesting is the “posting first par is ok” Boards line. Arbitrary. No legal basis

        3. @cianginty @thesociable @stoneycoughlan @Nerin_ Worth stating also, Boards not the only Irish site where copy/images reproduced

        4. @faduda T hink that stance comes from a past legal tussle, but I don’t know details so can’t really comment

        5. @faduda @thesociable @stoneycoughlan will Broadsheet stop screencapping articles and posting them now? That is bloody awful practice.

  4. I’m amused by how much attention this “change” is attracting.
    Posting full articles was always illegal and a breach of copyright.
    Posting links to streams of copyright material etc., was always problematic.
    The fact that boards.ie didn’t strictly enforce the law is the only actual change.

  5. I’m amused by how much attention this “change” is attracting.
    Posting full articles was always illegal and a breach of copyright.
    Posting links to streams of copyright material etc., was always problematic.
    The fact that boards.ie didn’t strictly enforce the law is the only actual change.

  6. I’m amused by how much attention this “change” is attracting.
    Posting full articles was always illegal and a breach of copyright.
    Posting links to streams of copyright material etc., was always problematic.
    The fact that boards.ie didn’t strictly enforce the law is the only actual change.

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.