Benefits of Copyright Protection

Copyright protection plays an important role in encouraging enterprise and stimulating economic activity. It provides a vital incentive for the creation of many intellectual works. Without copyright protection, it would be easy for others to exploit these works without paying any royalties or remuneration to the owner of the work. 

Copyright not only provides protection to the creator's original work but also to the reproduction by various means of all or parts of that work or works. This protection is in the form of two rights known as the Economic Right and the Moral Right.

Economic Rights

Copyright protection entitles the creators to control use of their literary and artistic material in a number of ways such as making copies, performing in public, broadcasting,  use on-line, etc. and to obtain an appropriate economic reward.  Creators can therefore be rewarded for their creativity and investment. Copyright gives the creator the right to prevent others from exploiting the work in various ways, without permission, e.g. copying the work; making the work available to the public; distributing the work; renting or lending it (excluding public lending); and translating, arranging or adapting the work. These economic rights enable the creator to charge a fee, or royalty for the reproduction of the work.  An example of the power of economic rights is where an author of a book can also benefit from movie adaptations of their books as well as sales of merchandise associated with the book or movie.

Moral Rights

Copyright also gives moral rights to be identified as the creator or author of certain kinds of material (sometimes known as the paternity right), and to object to the distortion and mutilation of it.  An author's right to object to the modification or derogatory action in relation to his or her work is is most often used to object to any treatment or use of their work by others which the author/creator feels could damage his or her reputation or integrity. A common example of this is often seen in elections when artists or songwriters object to the use of songs from their repertoire by candidates with controversial politics or reputations.

Chapter 7 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 (No. 28 of 2000)deals in greater detail with moral rights applicable in Ireland.