Irish Job Minister Will Change Copyright Legislation


Prime VIP

Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Burton began a process of copyright reform. He is going to maximize the potential of the Irish digital industry. Richard Burton proposed to review the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 and to remove all barriers affecting innovation from the legislation.

In October 2010, UPC won a court case about the implementation of “three-strikes” regime against file-sharers. The judge ruled that legislation used to identify and disconnect the infringers couldn’t be enforced in the country despite of the copyright owners’ complaints.

Nevertheless, hanging copyrights legislation is considered harmful in terms of the country’s success in capturing a number of most famous names in the online economy, such as Google, Facebook and others. The industry observers believe that the existing copyright laws need clarification which reasonable steps can be taken by content distributors to ensure they are not offering unauthorized and counterfeit material. Therefore, the Ireland’s government should make necessary changes to allow innovative companies to reach their full potential in the country, since they contribute enormously to jobs and economic growth.

Some of the largest Internet companies have made it clear that the current Irish copyright laws are not good enough for them as they create some barriers to innovation and to the development of new business models. One of the proposals made was to move towards a US-style “fair use” system.

Richard Burton assured that he was determined to respond to such suggestions soon, as he needs to first consider the copyright issues in detail, and this is a very complex area of legislation. He has already started a time-limited review of the copyright legislation with the help of 3 industry experts, which will take him six months. If those experts decide that some changes can be made, within the confines of European Union and other legislation in this area, this will surely be done in order to improve the environment for innovation by digital companies.

However, it won’t be that easy. In fact, the “fair use” clauses are used for noncommercial issues only, but the monopoly applied to the commercial infringers. Thus, the country realized that the copyright monopoly indeed affects business, and it’s the first time when politicians openly admit that it negatively affects business and the economy as a whole.