Copyright law does exactly what is says it does: it gives someone (typically the author) the right to control how a work is copied. It’s an ancient right, the first modern copyright statute was the Statute of Anne in 1710. The Irish law of Copyright is now to be found in The Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000, which comprehensively updated the Irish Law. The Act provides that an author of a work such as a book, a film or a sound recording will have the right to control how that work is copied, adapted or made available to the public. Someone does so without the permission of the author will commit primary infringement; someone who assists them, such as by dealing in infringing copies, will commit secondary infringement. The Act provides copyright owners with a variety of remedies.
- The Act implemented the Database Directive into Irish law, which extends the protections available to database makers.
- It specifically protects rights Management Information and Rights Protection Measures.
- It specifically protects the moral rights of authors by giving them a right of paternity (the right to be identified as the author); a right of integrity (the right not to have their work distorted, modified or mutilated to such an extent that it prejudices the right of the author); and the right to object to false attribution.
The 2000 Act was amended by the Copyright and Related Rights(Amendment) Act 2004, which enabled that year’s Bloomsday celebrations to go ahead without anything more than the usual incidents. It was also amended by the Copyright and Related Rights (Amendment) Act 2007 which made ‘…provision in relation to the establishment of a public lending remuneration scheme in conformity with Council Directive No. 92/100/EC of 19 November 1992’ Section 97 of the 2000 Act has been referred in the European Court of Justice. The Advocate General’s opinion has been given and the judgment of the Court is awaited.