This guide provides a general introduction to copyright and is not intended as a comprehensive interpretation of the copyright legislation.
Copyright is a form of intellectual property law which automatically applies to works on creation. It's purpose is to prevent such works from being used without the permission of their authors/creators. Copyright does not apply to an actual idea but to the presentation or production of an idea into words, symbols, images, recordings, and computer generated works. These works can be published or unpublished.
The legislation on Copyright also provides for Copyright owners to be renumerated for the use, distribution and reproduction of their works. This is to ensure the flow of creative and innovative works of authors/creators are encouraged and protected.
The main legislation governing copyright in Ireland is the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 to which there have been many amendments up to the Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has consolidated the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 and recent associated amendments up to 12 November 2021, in the Unofficial Consolidated Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 (as amended). Please see links below for access to these Acts.
Copyright is automatic on creation but is not perpetual. The following time limits apply:
These are the rights to claim authorship or paternity over a work and how that work is used is modified. If it is prejucial towards the author than they maintain the right to object to the use - the right of integrity.
Right of creator/owner to gain financial reward for the use or reproduction of their works.
Copyright owners have the exclusive right to exclude others from using their works without permission.
(For more details on rights read this document on Understanding Copyright and Related Rights by the World Intellectual Property Organisation)
Fair Dealing is defined as “making use… for a purpose and to an extent which will not unreasonably prejudice the interests of the owner of the copyright” Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 Section 50(4)
The concept of Fair Dealing (not to be confused with the US Concept of 'Fair Use') allows for the use of a work without permission under the following exceptions:
Fair Dealing generally applies to making a single copy of a work for individual use. Multiple copies are covered under the terms of the ICLA Licence Agreement.