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Copyright report published, aimed at supporting digital industry – Minister Bruton

Key commitment in Action Plan for Jobs aimed at reducing barriers to innovation in the digital environment

29th October 2013

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, together with the Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, today (Tuesday) welcomed the publication of the report of the independent Copyright Review Committee, entitled Modernising Copyright.

The report is aimed at identifying any barriers for innovation in the digital environment, and developing proposals for reducing them in order to provide greater support for growth and jobs in the digital industry. Publication of the report marks delivery of a key commitment in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.

Following publication, Minister Bruton and Minister Sherlock propose that the recommendations of the report will be carefully examined with other Departments and Agencies involved, with the intention of bringing forward legislative proposals for reform in this area to stimulate innovation and to ensure that Ireland is well positioned to meet the needs of the digital environment.

Minister Sherlock announced also the convening of a public forum on the 9th December at the Royal Irish Academy to allow the Committee to present its findings and the copyright community to probe these findings with members of the Committee.

The Report entitled “Modernising Copyright” was compiled by the Copyright Review Committee comprising Dr Eoin O’Dell of Trinity College (Chair), Professor Steve Hedley of University College Cork and Ms Patricia McGovern of DFMG Solicitors. In completing its Report, the Committee was informed by an extensive consultation process undertaken by them to ensure that the full range of views of the copyright community was available to them. The Report is accompanied by a draft Bill designed to give effect to the recommendations contained therein.

Launching the Report, Minister Bruton said:

“The digital industry is a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and in the past two years we have put in place a range of measures to support growth in this sector, including changes to increase the number of people with relevant skills coming through the education and work permit systems. In the past two years we have seen significant jobs growth in this sector. However if we are to sustain and accelerate this we must continually look over the next horizon and examine possible changes that could improve our international offering in this area.

“That is why we commissioned this report to look at possible barriers to innovation in this sector and measures we could take to remove them and support further growth and innovation. Sincere thanks are due to Prof O’Dell and his team for the incredible work they have put in to this comprehensive report. We will now examine its recommendations along with other relevant actors to see what changes we can make to ensure that we continue and accelerate the jobs growth we need in this area”.

Minister Sherlock said “I want to thank most sincerely the members of the Review Committee for their hard work and the huge level of personal commitment they have given to complete this Report. Thanks are also due to the many persons and organisations who took part in the extensive consultation process. The timing of the Report is very opportune at a time when, both at EU level and in a number of countries globally, it is recognised that copyright reform is needed to best suit the needs of the digital environment and is very much a live issue that legislators are actively grappling with on many levels”.

“The Report proposes an array of positive reforms responding to the need to make works more available for educational and research purposes, to provide a stimulus for innovation, to make more publicly available our rich store of cultural and heritage works and, to respond to the dynamically changing needs of the digital environment. To a significant degree, the analogue environment in which copyright has traditionally operated is not fit to meet current realities in the online environment. Given the advancement in social media and other channels of delivery for online content such as music, news and films, consumers increasingly expect to be able to receive legitimate content online quickly and that measures are in place to ensure that the owners of the content i.e. the rightholders, are paid for the content to allow delivery of the required services.

“Modernisation of copyright feeds into the delivery of the EU digital agenda also and, while the agenda is much wider in scope, involving the extension of broadband capability, digital signatures etc. it involves also copyright and the need to provide for expeditious clearance of copyright rights to deliver online content.

“This Report now provides Government with an outline roadmap to facilitate the way forward on the copyright modernisation agenda” in order to respond to issues that impact on innovation and the need for copyright to be fully fit for the digital environment”.


Notes for Editors

Biographies of Committee Members

Dr Eoin O'Dell BCL (NUI), BCL(Oxon), MA (Dubl) (j.o.), LLM (Dubl) (a.e.Oxon), PhD (Cantab), FTCD, Barrister-at-Law is an Associate Professor of Law in Trinity College Dublin. He researches and publishes primarily in the fields of private and commercial law (including IP, IT and cyberlaw), and he teaches various IP law courses to graduate students and private law courses to undergraduate students. He has been been President of the Irish Association of Law Teachers, a Member of the Council and Executive of the Society of Legal Scholars in the UK and Ireland, and Editor of the Dublin University Law Journal; and he is the Chair of the Fellows of Trinity College Dublin. He was a member of the group which advised the Department of Justice on the Defamation Act, 2009, and a member of the Advisory Group on a European Civil Code which advised the EU Commission on common principles of European private law. He blogs at
Patricia McGovern is Chairman and Head of the Intellectual Property Department of DFMG Solicitors.Ms. McGovern advises on all aspects of intellectual property law. She is regarded as one of the leading intellectual property lawyers in Ireland and has considerable experience in advising on brand strategies, protection strategies for patents, trade marks, designs and copyright and the prosecution of trade marks and designs. She advises on all contentious aspects of intellectual property to include patent, trade mark, copyright and design infringement actions. Her practice also encompasses information technology, data protection, e-commerce and franchising.

Professor Stephen William Hedley BSc, MA (Oxon), LLB (Cantab), Barrister (Middle Temple), UCC. Professor Hedley joined the Faculty in September 2003, after teaching for 18 years at Cambridge in England. He has written textbooks on Tort (latest edition 2002) and Restitution (2001), an account of the theory of Restitution (Restitution: Its division and ordering, 2001), and Law of Electronic Commerce and the Internet in the UK and Ireland (2006). He has also co-edited (with M Halliwell) a reference work on Restitution, and compiled two books of statutory materials. He blogs at He was Dean of Faculty from 2009 to 2012.

The report can be found at


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