Irish Copyright Debate Watched Closely By European Newspapers as ENPA Meets in Dublin

In advance of Ireland assuming the EU Presidency next year, the European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA), held its general assembly in Dublin last month with delegates from 16 countries present.

The events around this meeting made clear that current copyright review taking place in Ireland is being closely watched at European level.

ENPA and NNI met with the Minister for Communications, Mr Pat Rabbitte TD and Mr Sean Sherlock TD, Minister for Research and Innovation.

At the meeting with Minister Sean Sherlock TD, Mr Ivar Rusdal, ENPA President, echoed the strong concerns already expressed by NNI about the implications of any weakening of Irish copyright law.

Digital environment has increased need for copyright protection

Mr Rusdal advised Minister Sherlock that the digital environment has not reduced but increased the need for copyright protection. “Publishers must be able to rely on copyright protection to develop new business models, to invest in new products and services, and to sustainably deliver content to European consumers.

“Several other European countries are taking legislative and administrative steps to ensure that news publishers are compensated when their material is used for commercial purposes by search engines and aggregators,” he said. “There must be no weakening of the EU copyright framework, which also applies in Ireland, by the introduction of new exceptions or limitations.

Sean Kelly MEP stresses role of newspapers

Mr Seán Kelly, Member of the European Parliament (European People’s Party/ Fine Gael), was a special guest speaker at the ENPA General Assembly.

Mr Kelly, who is currently rapporteur for the report on data protection in the Industry Committee of the European Parliament, stressed the vital role of newspapers and press freedom in democratic society.

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