Consultation Paper on Copyright Published

Thursday, Mar 1st, 2012 in Photography News by Alan Murphy | Comment

Yesterday Minister Sherlock launched the next stage of the Copyright Review Committee review of Ireland’s copyright legislation when he release the paper prepared by Dr Eoin O’Dell (Trinity College Dublin) and his committee – you can download it here.

Section 4.11 deals specifically with Photographers.

“4.11 PhotographersThe position of photographers was a particular concern both in the submissions and at the public meeting. Section 2 CRRA confirms that photographs can constitute a “artistic work”, so that, if a photograph is sufficiently “original” (section 17(2)(a) CRRA), it will attract copyright protection, which may be exercised by the photographer as author andrights-holder (section 21 CRRA). Photographs are also specifically mentioned in many other sections of the Act (see, eg, sections 39(1)(c), 93(2)(b), 102, 114, 115, 117(4), 119, and 199). Digital photographs are now particularly easy to reproduce, and many photographers submitted to us that this has led to widespread piracy, especially online, and they trenchantly argued against the introduction of additional exceptions which would dilute photographers’ rights even further. There are two questions of principle here. The first relates to infringement of copyright. This will occur whether there any exceptions at all, let alone whether they are narrow or generous; so the real issues are how such infringements might be prevented in the first place and properly remedied if they occur; and we invite submissions in this regard.If such issues of infringement, prevention and remedy can be sorted out, the second question of principle relates to the appropriate exceptions to photographers’ copyrights. In principle, since photographs are artistic works, they attract both the same levels of protection and the same levels Copyright Review Committee40of exception as other copyright works. This is true for the most part, but, in some cases, photographs are afforded greater protections than other works. So, for example, photographs are exempted from the news fair dealing exception in section 51(2) CRRA; in the UK, section 30(2) CDPA is to similar effect; but there is no requirement in EU law for photographs to be exempted from the equivalent exception in Article 5(3)(c) EUCD.63 This raises two questions on which we invite submissions. First, should the special position for photographs in section 51(2) CRRA be retained? Second, if so, should a similar exemption for photographs be provided for any new copyright exceptions which might be introduced into Irish law on foot of the present Review?”


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