He discussed everything from the future of music to the new statutory instrument regarding illegal downloading in the RDS

‘The Future Of Music’ panel took place at 1pm in the Red Room and saw the Minister for Research & Innovation Sean Sherlock, who stated that he has a “particular responsibility for copyright”, field questions and discuss the period of profound change the music industry is going through. He was joined by Dervilla Mullan, the Director of online, eircom, Music barrister William Ryan and two men involved in direct-to-fan music ventures, Shamal Ranasinghe of Topsin and Paul Barton of Pledge Music.

The main topic for discussion was the new statutory instrument that the Minister plans to implement. “It’s quite controversial to say the least,” he admitted. He says that it is “really to remove any doubt arising from the Charleton judgement, which seeks to restore the position that we held prior to that judgement, which was basically a right to give and to receive judicial proceedings where there is a perceived breach of copyright.”

Barrister William Ryan clarified that the instrument would be completely different to the controversial and failed SOPA Bill in the US. “It is bringing us back to a position where we thought we were. He’s not trying to block the internet or filter the internet.” He also claimed that illegal downloading is “destroying the industry.”

The Minister stated that a Copyright Review Consultation has been undertaken by Dr. Eoin O’Neill Of Trinity College Dublin. The subsequent report “seeks to look at every aspect of copyright law” and will be “published very shortly.”

The aim of the new instrument is to “give protection to the creative industry in the interim period.” When questioned by Victor Finn, CEO of IMRO, regarding when the instrument would go through, the Minister commented: “I’m not giving you a date.” He did say that “the statutory instrument will be signed” and that it would “completely and utterly” happen this year.

The Minister also called for the music industry and the online industry to sit around the negotiating table and admitted that he’d rather the two sides involved in the issue would reach a consensus on their own, rather than asking the government to intervene. He hoped this could take the form of a “moderated online ‘chat’ if you will.”