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On 26 June 2019, the Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2018 (the “Act”) was signed into law by the President.
It implements recommendations made by the Copyright Review Committee in their Report entitled “Modernising Copyright” published in October 2013.
The Act introduces a range of amendments to the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 in order to modernise copyright law in Ireland and to provide greater recourse to IP rightsholders in the Irish courts.
A key amendment introduced by the Act is the extension of the jurisdiction of the Circuit and District Courts to include certain IP claims. The current jurisdiction of the Circuit Court covers claims with a value of up to €75,000, while the District Court hears claims with a value of up to €15,000. Therefore, IP rightsholders will now be able to bring certain claims in lower courts where they may be heard in a more timely manner and will incur fewer legal costs than if such proceedings were brought in the Commercial Court (which is the dedicated IP court of the High Court).
Other amendments brought in by the Act include:
- The provision of IP licensees with the same rights and remedies that are available to IP rightsowners, thereby enabling IP licensees to now pursue copyright infringement proceedings.
- The strengthening of the protection of copyright in designs by amending the term of protection from 25 years to the life of the creator, plus 70 years.
- That the authorship of a film soundtrack accompanying a film is to now be treated as part of the film.
- The prohibition of the tampering with metadata associated with photographic works;
- The expansion of the existing exceptions for persons with disabilities to facilitate greater access to a wider range of copyright materials.
- The creation of a range of exceptions to copyright, including for the purposes of:
- Education, teaching and scientific research;
- Text and data mining (for non-commercial research);
- Criticism or review of a work;
- Caricature, parody and pastiche;
- News-reporting and broadcasting; and
- Display of works by libraries and archives in their permanent collections.