An independent Copyright Review Committee was established by the then Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in May 2011 to examine the Irish copyright framework from the perspective of removing any obstacles to developing and growing innovation. The Report of the Copyright Review Committee entitled “Modernising Copyright” was published in October 2013. In its Report, the Committee made in excess of 60 recommendations covering a diverse range of copyright issues with a view to modernising the copyright regime in Ireland.
Since the publication of the Report, my Department has conducted extensive analysis of the recommendations, including an in-depth assessment of the complex legal issues involved in certain of the proposals with the Office of the Attorney General, as well as examination of the proposals from a policy perspective. I hope to be in a position, over coming weeks, to bring to Government the Department's response to the Committee’s recommendations and, to seek approval for legislative proposals in relation to a number of the Committee's recommendations.
In addition, the European Union (Collective Rights Management) (Directive 2014/26/EU) Regulations 2016 were recently signed into law in Ireland. The Directive puts in place a harmonised system of governance for the operations of Collective Rights Management organisations (CMOs) across the EU. CMOs represent the licensing rights of copyright owners including authors and artists and collect royalties in relation to the use of their copyright protected works. The Directive as transposed in law in each Member State will strengthen the rights of copyright holders, including artists, to receive remuneration for the use of their rights in a timely manner.
Artists who are employees in Ireland have the same rights as all other employees. In cases of self-employed artists, as with other self-employed workers, the application of competition law would only be a consideration if there are allegations of anti-competitive behaviour.