Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Intellectual Property

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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83. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will provide details of any meetings have taken place between her Department and other Departments or with external stakeholders to discuss the protection of intellectual property rights and digital rights for the creative sector and to ensure the full implementation of the new European Union Copyright Directive; the stakeholders that she has engaged with on the matter; and the progress that has been made. [32165/22]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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On the 12 November 2021, the transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/790 was completed by way of S.I. No. 567/2021 - European Union (Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market) Regulations 2021. These Regulations strengthen the rights and protections of copyright holders in order to reflect the impact of technological advances and increased digitalisation.  

The Regulations also address the legal uncertainty that existed when copyright-protected material was circulated online by way of social media and online platforms. Authorisation is now required from copyright holders so that the online platforms can continue to circulate copyright-protected works such as music, videos, or other works, online. This authorisation is usually obtained by way of a license from the relevant copyright-holders’ representative, i.e., from a collective management organisation. 

The Regulations also provide for wider access and use of copyright protected works for the benefit of a broad range of stakeholders, including the creative sectors, press publishers, researchers, educators, cultural heritage institutions, and citizens. 

Following the publication of the Directive in 2019, my Department conducted a series of public consultations seeking the views of all stakeholders on the various provisions in the Directive to help to inform how the provisions should be applied in the context of Irish copyright legislation. A large number of submissions were received and carefully considered, with cognisance taken of the diversity of the views expressed. In its approach, my Department was guided by the overarching objective of providing a copyright legislative framework fit for the digital age and which represents a balanced consideration of the interests of all stakeholders. This analysis also included detailed consideration on how best to transpose the Directive into the existing national copyright law framework.  

In concluding its analysis of the Directive, and considering the breadth of views expressed by stakeholders, my Department decided to transpose the mandatory provisions by way of Regulations contained in secondary legislation, i.e., by Statutory Instrument. This was required only for provisions that did not already reside in existing copyright legislation. In addition, and in order to keep stakeholders informed of progress in relation to the transposition of the Directive, my Department, in May 2021, published an information note which set out the actions taken to date and the decision to proceed with the transposition of the mandatory provisions by way of secondary legislation. 

My officials continue to actively engage with the European Commission and other Member States on the status of EU-wide implementation of the Directive.

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