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The provisions of the Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019 (the Act), which was signed into law on 26 June 2019, were commenced on 2 December 2019.

The only provisions which are not yet in effect are sections 2(1), 9 and 21, which will automatically come into operation on 26 December (i.e. 6 months from the passing of the Act on 26 June 2019).


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On 26 June 2019, the Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019 (the 2019 Act) was signed into law. The Act amends the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 and modernises Irish copyright law in accordance with the Report of the Copyright Review Committee on Modernising Copyright, published in October 2013. The Act also recognises exceptions to copyright permitted by the Information Society Directive 2001/29/EC. The Copyright and Related Rights Acts 2000 and 2007, along with Part 2 and Schedules 1 and 2 of the 2019 Act may be cited together as the Copyright and Related Rights Acts 2000 to 2019.

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The European Parliament voted on 26 March 2019 in favour of the controversial EU Copyright Directive, which will implement sweeping changes to regulation around online copyright. MEPs voted in favour of the compromise text as agreed on 13 February 2019 (previously discussed here). The Directive was approved by 348 votes to 274, concluding one of the most contested and intensely lobbied law proposals in recent years. A last minute vote on debating amendments to the reforms (in relation to Articles 11 and 13) was also rejected by just five votes. The text approved by Parliament can be accessed here
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Photo of Davinia Brennan

On 13 February 2019, the European Parliament, Council and Commission reached a compromise on the text of the new Copyright Directive (previously discussed here).  The proposed Directive targets digital use of press publications by information society service providers, such as news aggregators and media monitoring services. As discussed below, the two most controversial provisions are Articles 11 and 13, known respectively as the “link tax” and “upload filtering” provisions.

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The European Parliament has adopted its position on the controversial proposed Copyright Directive, which includes a proposal for online content sharing service providers to remunerate artists (notably news publishers, journalists, musicians, performers and script authors) for their work when it is used by sharing platforms such as YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. The reform of EU copyright rules is part of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy. The Commission recognises that whilst online services provide ease of access to creative works and offer opportunities for creative industries to develop, it also generates challenges when copyright protected works are uploaded without prior authorisation from copyright holders.

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The CJEU has ruled that an unauthorised reposting of a photograph on a website which is already publicly accessible, with the consent of the photographer and without restriction preventing it from being downloaded, on another website, can infringe the copyright rights of a photographer (Renckhoff, C-161/17). It is of little importance if, as in the present case, the copyright holder does not limit the ways in which the photograph may be used by internet users.

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The Irish Commercial Court has ordered nine ISPs to block three websites offering illegal downloading or streaming of copyrighted movies and TV shows.  The action was brought by Motion Pictures Association, representing six film and TV studios.  The Court held that it was clear there had been infringement of copyright, that it would not result in the lawful use of the internet being interfered with and the order was proportionate to the damage being caused. None of the ISPs opposed the application for the injunction.  However one ISP raised concerns about cost implications of dealing with a large number of sites into the future, and asked the court to put a cap on the number of illegal website notifications a month, which movie companies could direct ISPs to block.  The Judge refused to grant a cap on notifications.
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The CJEU has once again been asked to consider the meaning of “communication to the public” within Article 3(1) of the Copyright Directive.

In Stichting Brein v Ziggo BV, XS4ALL Internet BV (Case C‑610/15), the CJEU has been asked to identify  the scope of liability for copyright infringement committed by ‘card providers,’ namely sites such as The Pirate Bay, where files containing music and films are shared free of charge, and usually in breach of copyright.

On 8 February, 2017, the Attorney General (AG) delivered an Opinion advising the CJEU to find copyright infringement where a website (such as The Pirate Bay) indexes content available on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, even where there is no actual content on the website.  However the AG found copyright infringement will only occur where the website operator has actual knowledge of the illegality and takes no action. Accordingly, if copyright holders notify a site’s operators of the illegal nature of information appearing on the site, and they fail to take action to make access to that work impossible, then the site operator may be held liable.


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