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Copyright Act Review by Dominic Lee

© Copyright Act Review by Dominic Lee

Copyright law under review.

I attended the Copyright Review Committee public meeting in Trinity College today #CRC11

While this was a “Review”, it quickly became clear to me that the committee’s agenda is to attempt to introduce “Fair Use” to the Copyright Act 2000.  However, the term “Don’t Want to Pay” is more appropriate in each and every aspect of those in favour of this change.

One speaker, a website owner, actually believes he should be exonerated from Copyright Law because he is not responsible for any Copyrighted material posted on His website by Joe Public.  He is just like my local Copy-Shop owner who thinks likewise because he allows the customer to operate the copy machine while he stands at the cash register and therefore never sees the copyright sticker!

Media publications would never dream of publishing a painting by Graham Knuttel or an extract from a Maeve Binchy book without asking their permission first but many of them have no problem riding rough-shot over Photographers work because they know there is a very slim chance that we could afford to sue for breach of Copyright.

YouTube  can detect a copyrighted track of music when you submit a video to their site and they offer two choices, switch to one of their copyright free music tracks or they offer the copyright owner a share of advertising relative to that video.

A new feature on Google Images will allow you to drop in an image and Google will tell you where it is being used on the www. So the technology exists which means this notion of “Fair Use” is nothing more than an attempt to deprive the creator of his or her rightful reproduction fee. Photographers make a living by selling photographs and deserve to be treated with the same respect as musicians, artists, and writers. There is great advertising value to be gained by using our images on the www but the Copyright Law must protect us from those who wish to make a living at our expense. Fair Use is not Fair Play.


Details of this review can be found at the following link:



Corin Bishop - July 5, 2011 - 11:07 am

well said!

p.s. also love the images on the blog header!

Conall - July 5, 2011 - 3:29 pm

Blaming the operators of public forums for copyright infringements that their users commit is ridiculous. He operates a site where people can talk and share viewpoints, and this includes the posting of images. He made it clear multiple times that if any infringements are found or reported, they are removed as quickly as possible

admin - July 6, 2011 - 8:48 am

Thanks Conall but that’s like saying he is not actually breaking the speed limit unless he gets caught!
Can you offer any suggestions as to how to address the issues of those concerned?

John - July 6, 2011 - 4:24 pm

I was at that meeting as well and I didn’t feel the CRC was pushing a particular agenda. Copyright is a complex issue and they have to consider it from every angle – not just from that of the content creator. I think the chair was very even-handed in his moderation of the event. Still, though, I thought David Cochrane was being a bit unrealistic when he said he expected the photographer to inform him of instances of copyright infringement – as if she has time to sit around all day and trawl the internet!

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