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The Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, welcomes the signing into law of the Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019 on 26 June

The Act updates the existing Copyright and Related Rights legislation in Ireland and amends other intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks and industrial designs.

Copyright is a form of intellectual property that grants rights to the creators of certain categories of works, such as books, music, films, software and television broadcasts.  The Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019 will modernise Ireland’s copyright and related rights legislation, giving greater protection to rightsholders while at the same time facilitating access to creative content for users and wider society.

The measures contained in the Act will make it easier for creators such as musicians, authors, photographers, to better defend their creative works by bringing lower value infringement claims to the Circuit and District Courts.

The Act also provides for the introduction into Irish law of a Text and Data Mining exception for non-commercial research that will facilitate the increased use of these important research techniques.  This exception will have significant benefits for the research community in gathering and making greater uses of data, the results of which can be used to develop new products and services which will have benefits for employment and the wider economy.

Minister Halligan stated that “as Minister with responsibility for Ireland's intellectual property regulatory regime I welcome the provisions contained in the Act that make better provision for copyright and other intellectual property protection for the digital era, strengthen our efforts to protect creativity while promoting and facilitating innovation.”  

Some of the important provisions in the Act include:

  • Improving access to the Courts system for intellectual property claims, in particular to facilitate lower value IP infringement cases to be brought before the District and Circuit courts;
  • Extension of the existing copyright exceptions for education, to allow teachers to display works on a whiteboard to illustrate a point, or to provide education by means of distance learning and education over the internet, in line with the changing provision of education and training in Ireland;
  • Extension of the existing copyright exception for persons with a disability, to facilitating persons with a disability getting access to works or to use new technologies to adapt works to the needs of persons with a disability;
  • The extension of the existing copyright deposit provisions relating to books to facilitate the creation of a Digital Deposit on a voluntary basis;
  • Creating an exception for use of copyright works to allow for caricature, satire and parody;
  • Extending the concept of fair dealing in copyright works for purposes of news reporting;
  • In the context of photographs, making it an infringement to tamper with metadata associated with the photographic works;
  • Allowing libraries, archives and educational institutions to make a copy of a work in its collection for preservation purposes and for catalogues for exhibitions etc.
  • Amending the term of protection for copyright in designs and artistic works from a 25-year term to life of the creator plus 70 years, in order for Ireland to comply with our international obligations;

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

The Act implements some of the recommendations contained in the Report of the Copyright Review Committee entitled "Modernising Copyright" published in October 2013.  It also includes provisions to take account of certain copyright exceptions contained in Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.

Tackling IP Infringement:

To tackle the issue of intellectual property infringement, the Act extends jurisdiction of the Circuit Court and District Court to include IP claims. This allows rightsholders across all areas of intellectual property the opportunity to seek redress and bring lower value intellectual property infringement claims for relief in civil proceedings within the limits of those courts.  This will improve the enforcement of intellectual property claims, especially those that would not be economical to prosecute before the High Court.

Commencement Orders for the Act:

A number of Commencement Orders are required to give effect to the Act and will be signed into law in due course in consultation with relevant Government Departments and Offices.  

For further information please contact the Press Office, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation: Phone: 01- 6312200; email: press.office@dbei.gov.ie.

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