Saturday, January 28, 2012

ACTA in Ireland

Here's the copy of the email I wrote to my TDs last week and our MEPs. Sometimes I wonder….


I am writing in connection with the proposed legislation being pursued by Minister Sherlock in relation to copyright material and online services.

I could say I am writing as a resident of such and such an area, and voted here there and everywhere along the political spectrum over the years.  But I'll spare you all that.

I am writing as a filmmaker who has worked in many creative fields, from music to art, theatre and photography over the intervening years, I've produced several feature films and had some modest success.

I have also followed the rise of technology since the mid-Eighties, lectured on Computer Animation in Ballyfermot in the early Nineties, and continue to teach in Digital Media in the IT, Sligo.  I've over twenty five years experience, researching and tracking the steady advance of digital technology as it has swept over the creative sector, from digital creation, through digital distribution and consumption. 

What it is important to understand right now is that we are in the middle of a watershed, a period of transition and various creative media are at different points in their transition.   But all of these:
- Music
- Television
- Publishing
- News
- Art/Photography
- Film
All of them have entered the watershed right now.  Moving through huge changes.  It's, as the word of the day says, disruptive.  Extremely disruptive.  It's been tough on all in the business.

Each of these media, to a lesser or greater extent,  find themselves transitioning, through creation, distribution, combination with each other and the interaction of the public, gradually being absorbed into another medium, Software.   Software is emergent as these other forms break apart and transform.  

That, from a bigger picture, is what is in play.   And a bigger picture likely is a century long viewpoint.  At some point, there will just be creative software, it's the key art form of this 21st Century.

It's absolutely vital that we don't get in the way here.    The challenges facing the creative sector is not to stem, contain, or alter the creation, distribution or consumption patterns.   The challenge is actually one of excellence, we just need to get better, a lot better, at what we do.  I, personally, have every faith in the creative and content sectors in getting to do that, excellence and innovation are two keywords we have lived or died by for a long time.  We need to embrace the technology and just be better than the pirates, we need, in short, not to contain or stem it, but to actually push it, and get involved in deepening it as this century progresses.

Please I would use your connections to urge the Minister to move away from this legislation and to spend his time and portfolio encouraging the content industries to focus on their own path, to encourage partnerships in particular with our software and technology companies and to pursue excellence in these fields.

I would be happy to discuss this further with you should you so wish.


What you gotta do…. Anyway please visit and sign up.

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