USA takes action against the Irish copyright system

Subject: USA takes action against the Irish copyright system
From: Emanuella Giavarra (
Date: ti 27 tammi† 1998 - 18:52:50 EET

Dear list members,

Agence Europe reported on 22 January 1998 that the USA is calling for a
World Trade Organization (WTO) panel to be created to look into the
legal provisions for copyright in force in Ireland, provisions which, in
its opinion, are inadequate to protect photographic and cinematographic
works against piracy.

The United States refers to different shortcomings in the Irish
copyright system, the country not having transposed the international
agreement on aspects linked to the trade in intellectual property rights
(TRIPS); according to the US, the limits on rights and exception remains
excessive. It accuses Ireland of not providing for sentences in case of
the illegal copy of record and cinema film from an unauthorized
representation or retransmission of a session or show. In addition, the
fines and terms of imprisonment provided for are, according to the US,
inadequate to effectively discourage copyright piracy.

Irelands delay in implementing the TRIPS agreement has also affected the
transposition of some EU Directives. Meanwhile, the US have approached
two other EU countries - Denmark and Sweden - which according to the US,
have also fallen behind in revising their copyright legislation.

The European Commission has refused the opening of a Panel requested by
the US on the Irish copyright system. If the US maintains its request,
the EU will be forced to accept the opening of such a panel during the
next meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlements Body on 13 February 1998.
The US has, in fact, made two requests for panels: against Ireland that
is said to violate WTO agreements on copyright and against the European
Union, as Ireland is said to apply European legislation in this matter.

Kind regards,
Emanuella Giavarra

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