I move amendment No. 1:
In page 41, after line 9, to insert the following:
DIGITAL LEGAL DEPOSIT SCHEME
Digital legal deposit scheme
106. Within twelve months of the enactment of this Bill the Government shall bring forward a report on the feasibility of establishing a digital legal deposit scheme to serve as a web archive for .ie domain contents and advise on steps taken towards that goal.".
We welcome the Bill in the main and welcome its progress to Report Stage. The amendment seeks to provide for the establishment of a digital archive for Irish Internet content. We already have archives for print media, journals, newspapers and proceedings of this House and many other types of content in the National Library, National Archives and many universities. We do not, however, have a digital archive for Internet content. This content is an important part of our collective memory and culture and a reflection of society at a point in time. It is also an important historical artefact and would normally form a part of copyright libraries, like the printed word, but we have not yet made provisions to move to the Internet world. There have been some moves by the private sector to address this, for example, Twitter has collaborated with the United States Congress to create a library of all tweets ever sent. Google has an archive of many books and pages and used to maintain a web cache although that is no longer available.
As a sovereign State we should take responsibility for our own Internet content and safeguard it for future generations, archivists and historians to study. Eminent people in the area such as Dr. Eoin O'Dell in Trinity College Dublin and his team have the wherewithal and know-how to do this and are happy to begin cataloguing such an archive. However, they need to be permitted by law to do so. They need the digital sphere to be included in the copyright domain in the way that other media are.
I moved a similar amendment on Committee Stage and I acknowledge the feedback of the Minister of State and the assistance of officials at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, particularly Ms Grainne O'Carroll, who is responsible for copyright and intellectual property services. Ms O'Carroll was very helpful in framing the amendment and making some tweaks to it. I understand there were some reservations about its immediate adoption and it has been decided that the amendment will call on the Government to report within 12 months on the feasibility of establishing such a scheme and progress made on doing so. It is an important step and I hope it will find support in the House.