The Copyright and Related Rights Acts 2000 governs copyright law in Ireland.

Ireland’s copyright law is technology neutral in its terminology to ensure that it does not become weakened or antiquated by emerging technologies. Under Irish law, copyright subsists in:

i) original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works

ii) sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programmes

iii) the typographical arrangement of published editions

iv) original databases

There is also freestanding right in respect of databases that are insufficiently original to attract copyright protection. This is known as the ‘database right’.

Irish legislation specifically identifies computer programs as being capable of copyright protection.

Copyright owners should be ever vigilant to infringers changing the name of their copyright protected works and setting up overseas companies to illegally sell and/or licence the copyright protected works under a different name. It may take years for the copyright owner to discover these illegal infringements but the law still provides them remedies when they do. (section 144 Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 (“fraud and concealment” cases)

Ireland is a party to the Berne Convention.

The European Union (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2012 – S.I. No. 59/2012 was signed into law by Junior Minister of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Sean Sherlock on Wednesday, 29.2..2012. The purpose of the CRR Regulations, implemented by way of statutory instrument, is to provide an explicit mechanism which will enable copyright rightholders to seek an injunction against an intermediary service provider which provides facilities that may be used by third parties to infringe their copyright.

Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000

23.—(1) The author of a work (including computer programs) shall be the first owner of the copyright unless assigned in writing by the author to another. If work done outside normal working hours employee can assert copyright over their employer to the work.
24. Copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or original database shall expire 70 years after the death of the author, irrespective of the date on which the work is first lawfully made available to the public.