Published on Thursday4thAugust2016

General Scheme of a Copyright Bill approved


Pictured are from left Lina Kouzi NCBI Library and Media Services Manager with Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell-O’Connor

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell-O’Connor today welcomed Government approval for the drafting of a General Scheme of Bill entitled Copyright and Related Rights (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2016. Copyright protects creative outputs such as books, films, music, software, TV broadcasts etc. against acts such as copying or unauthorised reproduction. It seeks also to strike a balance with greater societal needs in the context of education, advancing research or to facilitate access to works for persons with a disability.   

The Minister said:

When enacted, the Copyright Bill will allow teachers to display lines of poetry or display pictures on a whiteboard to illustrate a point for children using modern day technology such as whiteboards without fear of infringing copyright. 

The Minister was particularly pleased to welcome important provisions in the Bill to service the needs of persons with a disability. The Bill will allow an individual to make a personal copy of a work modified to meet their special needs.  Moreover, designated bodies such as the National Council for the Blind will be able to make multiple copies of a work to meet the specific needs of persons with a disability and to share these with other designated bodies as well as directly to individuals. 

Other important aspects of the Bill announced by the Minister aim to create an Innovative environment to allow businesses to grow and compete globally. 

Areas addressed 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 existing copyright exceptions to promote non-commercial research including the introduction of a Text and Data Mining copyright exception into Irish law;
  •       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;
  •       making it an infringement, in the context of photographs, to tamper with metadata associated with the photographic works; and
  •       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.