[Fsfe-ie] copyright lawyerly questions?

James Heald j.heald at ucl.ac.uk
Wed Dec 10 18:50:48 CET 2003

Ian Clarke wrote:

> James Heald wrote:
>>> Perhaps this is a nobrainer - but is there a concept of fair use in 
>>> Irish copyright law?  This is relevant because there is no such 
>>> concept under British law, but there is (obviously) under US law.
>> Exceptions to copyright in UK law:
>> As I rule I think we should do our best to Read The Friendly Manual 
>> first, or at least make our best effort to, before asking very general 
>> questions.
> Again, maybe I am being an idiot - but you are talking about UK 
> copyright law, my question was about Irish copyright law.

No, what you were asking was quite reasonable.

I was just trying to post some possibly useful background information -- 
saying there is "no such thing as fair use in British law" (or Irish 
law), while technically true, can lend itself to misinterpretation.

For a very rough set of summary-header background (but specifically 
Irish) information, one useful link may be the IT law course taught by 
the CS department at TCD:

Links on the main page appear broken, but those in the banner work. 
Following the link Intellectual Property, then Copyright gives some 
useful outlines about the law.  In particular the page on "Infringement 
of Copyright" gives some headers.

As per the UK, the common-law notion of "Fair use" was replaced by 
statutory "Fair dealing" exemptions by the 1911 act, and that is still 
the framework of the law.

For the specific detail, it's probably best to check the act itself.

One book which might be appropriate as a "Friendly Manual" for us to be 
aware of (though I haven't myself seen a copy) might be
"Information Technology Law in Ireland" (Dublin: Butterworths), 1997
by Denis Kelleher and Karen Murray, who also own http://www.ictlaw.com/
-- although note this book was published before the new Irish Copyright 
Act 2000.

Karen Murray is a lecturer at the National College of Ireland in Dublin. 
  Both also work as barristers.

All best,


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