Fears copyright laws will threaten press freedom
on 30/10/2013 00:00:00
Proving fair use would necessitate showing the material reproduced was not of excessive quantity, was not used for commercial gain and that its commercial value to its producer was not adversely affected.
The public interest in reproducing it would be taken into account, as would efforts made to seek permission to use the work and the extent to which the producer of the work was acknowledged.
Other exemptions to copyright would kick in where it could be claimed the use of another person's work assisted with "innovation" in business or where an online operator engaged in "marshalling" - the collation of online content or links to content from a variety of sources.
Links would be exempt from copyright protections, along with snippets of the linked work, so long as the snippet was no more than 160 characters or 2.5% of the total work, subject to a cap of 40 words.
The proposals for reform were sought by Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton, who pledged to follow them up with new legislation following criticisms that the existing law was too restrictive to encourage online businesses to set up here.
But industry group, the National Newspapers of Ireland, said it feared the new regime would threaten the survival of newspapers at an already challenging time.
"The cumulative effect of those new exceptions will greatly limit the ability of newspapers to prevent others from commercially exploiting their content without permission or fair remuneration," it said.
"Original newspaper content is designed to inform the public on matters of public interest and concern. The creation of this content requires significant expenditure and investment by publishers. Any watering down of copyright protection could have undesirable and perhaps unforeseen consequences, such as jeopardising investment in content creation which, in turn, would threaten press freedom and media pluralism."
The recommendations from the Copyright Review Committee also include the establishment of a Copyright Council to advise on copyright issues and run a dispute resolution mechanism, and the inclusion of intellectual property claims in the Small Claims procedure in the District Court.