Wednesday, 2 June 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
Lawyers differ over whether this Bill amends the existing law or if it is merely declaratory in nature. The Act of 2000 is clear so I tabled this amendment to clarify that under section 41(b) of the 2000 Act making the work available includes showing, which is already in the legislation. It would be more accurate to describe this Bill as going further than clarifying the existing law, it amends the existing law.
Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. M. Ahern): Section 40, which provides for the making available of a work to the public including, inter alia, performing, showing or playing a copy of the work in public, does not create public exhibition rights. Suggestions have been made that the reference to showing might create an exhibition right, allowing a rights holder to prohibit the exhibition of a work such as a painting or a manuscript. As I explained, the reference to showing was intended to cover audio-visual works such as films. The fact that these suggestions had been made, however, creates an element of uncertainty. That is why we are making this change to make clear what was intended.
The Bill removes any doubt as to the meaning of section 40. To accept the amendment would lead to the inference that we intended to change the law and that was never our intention. That is why I cannot accept amendment No 1. Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 are consequential and are, therefore, also not accepted.
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