Copyright

What is copyright? Copyright is a protection given to tangible expressions of creative works to ensure that the rights of the creator are protected.  The creator can also charge for the re-use of their original work and in this way copyright encourages creative activity.  Copyright is an automatic right, it doesn't need to be applied for or registered. How is copyright enforced? Copyright legislation differs from country to country but in Ireland it is governed by the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (CRRA) and the related Regulations and Statutory Instruments.  Ireland is also a signatory to international treaties such as World Intellectual Property Organisation (WiPO) Treaty and the Berne Convention, as well as relevant European legislation.  What does copyright apply to? The Act states that copyright applies to  original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programmes typographical arrangement of published editions original databases Copyright does not apply to ideas or copies and should not be confused with patents (for inventions) and trademarks (symbols or words representing a company). Copyright only exists on tangible physical items.  You can't claim copyright on a performance but if that performance was recorded copyright would exist on the recording for both the performer and the person who recorded them.  Within the Act this is known as a 'fixation'. How long does copyright last? As a general rule copyright lasts 70 years from publication and 70 years from the death of the creator.  So, for example, a singer wrote a song and recorded it on a 78 rpm in 1947. The copyright on the sound recording itself would expire in 2017 but the copyright on the song would last until 70 years after the singer died.  Where there was more than one creator, for example on a film, the copyright lasts 70 years from the date of death of the last surviving creator. What is Public Domain? Once the copyright has expired on a creation it is considered in the public domain and can be freely re-used for any purpose.  For example, a 78 rpm recording of an O'Carolan tune published more than 70 years ago would now be in the public domain. Can I use the material available on the ITMA website? ITMA does not own the copyright on all the material that is on its website.  The copyright status of any item is listed with the item's metadata, and where the item is in the public domain this is clearly marked.   For any items that are in copyright ITMA contacted the copyright holder to get permission to make it available on the site.  The items are all made available at low resolution, which means that while they may look and sound fine on a screen the quality of the digital file would not be good enough for any other reproduction.   This is to safeguard the rights of the copyright holder. If you would like to reproduce any of the material that is on the ITMA website please contact us.  We will put you in touch with the copyright holder so that you can get permission.  Once permission has been acquired, or if the item is in the public domain, ITMA can supply you with high quality digital files (a small handling fee may apply). Please read the ITMA Notice and Take Down Policy if you believe that the ITMA website has, in any way, breached copyright.

How is copyright enforced?

Copyright legislation differs from country to country but in Ireland it is governed by the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (CRRA) and the related Regulations and Statutory Instruments.  Ireland is also a signatory to international treaties such as World Intellectual Property Organisation (WiPO) Treaty and the Berne Convention, as well as relevant European legislation. 

What does copyright apply to?

The Act states that copyright applies to 

  • original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
  • sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programmes
  • typographical arrangement of published editions
  • original databases

Copyright does not apply to ideas or copies and should not be confused with patents (for inventions) and trademarks (symbols or words representing a company). Copyright only exists on tangible physical items.  You can't claim copyright on a performance but if that performance was recorded copyright would exist on the recording for both the performer and the person who recorded them.  Within the Act this is known as a 'fixation'.

How long does copyright last?

As a general rule copyright lasts 70 years from publication and 70 years from the death of the creator.  So, for example, a singer wrote a song and recorded it on a 78 rpm in 1947. The copyright on the sound recording itself would expire in 2017 but the copyright on the song would last until 70 years after the singer died.  Where there was more than one creator, for example on a film, the copyright lasts 70 years from the date of death of the last surviving creator.

What is Public Domain?

Once the copyright has expired on a creation it is considered in the public domain and can be freely re-used for any purpose.  For example, a 78 rpm recording of an O'Carolan tune published more than 70 years ago would now be in the public domain.

Can I use the material available on the ITMA website?

ITMA does not own the copyright on all the material that is on its website.  The copyright status of any item is listed with the item's metadata, and where the item is in the public domain this is clearly marked.  

For any items that are in copyright ITMA contacted the copyright holder to get permission to make it available on the site.  The items are all made available at low resolution, which means that while they may look and sound fine on a screen the quality of the digital file would not be good enough for any other reproduction.   This is to safeguard the rights of the copyright holder.

If you would like to reproduce any of the material that is on the ITMA website please contact us.  We will put you in touch with the copyright holder so that you can get permission.  Once permission has been acquired, or if the item is in the public domain, ITMA can supply you with high quality digital files (a small handling fee may apply).

Please read the ITMA Notice and Take Down Procedure if you believe that the ITMA website has, in any way, breached copyright.