Last month, to maximise the potential of digital industry in Ireland, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D., set up a Copyright Review Committee to identify any areas of Irish copyright legislation that might create barriers to innovation and to make recommendations to resolve any problems identified. The Committee consists of yours truly (TCD), Prof Steve Hedley (UCC), and Ms Patricia McGovern (DFMG Solicitors). Our review is similar to, but more limited than, Digital Opportunity, the review of intellectual property law and economic growth conducted by Prof Ian Hargreaves for the UK’s Intellectual Property Office. Rather than looking at the full range of intellectual property issues that Hargreaves did, our terms of reference have a much tighter focus on copyright and innovation; we have been asked to
- examine the present national copyright legislation (also here) and identify any areas that are perceived to create barriers to innovation,
- identify solutions for removing these barriers and make recommendations as to how these solutions might be implemented through changes to national legislation,
- examine the US style ‘fair use’ doctrine to see if it would be appropriate in an Irish/EU context, and
- if necessary, make recommendations for changes to EU Directives.