The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is seeking the views of stakeholders and interested parties on the transposition of EU Directive 2019/790 into Irish law.
Directive 2019/790 (hereinafter “the Copyright Directive”) was published by the European Commission in September 2016 as part of a series of legislative proposals under the Digital Single Market strategy. The Directive provides a framework for the creation of modern European copyright legislation to take account of technological developments in the digital age while continuing to ensure that creators are remunerated for their creative efforts.
The Directive contains a number of provisions that will further harmonise copyright exceptions in the areas of research, education and cultural preservation, provide protection for press publishers for the online use of their content and measures to address the “value gap” whereby rightholders can derive greater economic value for the use of their content online.
The deadline for transposition of the Directive into national legislation is 7 June 2021.
The Department is publishing a series of public consultations regarding the transposition into Irish law of the Copyright Directive. This consultation paper, the final of the series, is seeking the views of stakeholders and interested parties on the transposition of Articles 18-23 of the Directive.
- Article 18 outlines the principle of appropriate and proportionate remuneration for authors and performers in relation to the exploitation of their works, this is particularly useful as authors and performers tend to be in the weaker contractual position when they grant a licence or transfer their rights.
- Article 19 provides for transparency obligations on the parties to whom works are licensed, requiring that they provide comprehensive information on the exploitation of the works ‘at least once a year’, including the modes of exploitation and all revenues generated and remuneration due. This will ensure that authors and performers have access to an increased level of information about the exploitation of their works and performances, which is necessary in order to allow rightsholders assess their economic value.
- Article 20 is designed to operate in conjunction with article 19. It offers authors and performers a contract adjustment mechanism when ‘the remuneration originally agreed turns out to be disproportionately low’ compared to the success of their work or performance and the resulting revenues generated. Certain contracts for the exploitation of rights can be of a lengthy duration, this provision will allow rightsholders, without prejudice to the law applicable to contracts in Member States, to review and adjust existing contracts.
- Article 21 provides for an alternative dispute resolution procedure in respect of the obligations set out in Articles 19 and 20.
- Article 22 recognises the potential risk that rightsholders face when signing an exclusivity contract. The article addresses the ‘lack of exploitation’ of works by providing a mechanism to allow that authors or performers, after a reasonable time and upon appropriate notices and deadlines, revoke in whole or part the license or transfer of rights when their works are not being exploited. When a rightsholder transfers their rights there is an expectation that their work or performance will be exploited, it the event that this does not occur this article will allow for the revocation of rights thus allowing rightsholders to transfer or license their rights to another person.
- Article 23 prevents parties from overriding Articles 19-21 in contract, and so represents a key provision that ensures that the principles contained in Chapter 3 are met. It also clarifies that Articles 18-22 do not apply to authors of a computer program.
Details of the consultation are available on the Department’s website.
The closing date for submissions to this consultation is 5pm on Monday 23rd December 2019. Any questions regarding the consultation can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.