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Copyright Notice

Copyright derives from the application of the Berne convention for the protection of original artistic and literary works. Signatory Governments to the Berne convention are obliged to implement legislation and protections in harmony with the provisions and intent of the Berne convention. The convention provides for the automatic granting of certain rights (controlling copy, duplication, reproduction, public recitation, adaptation, rearrangement, alteration) to the author or creator of an original artistic or literary work. Even collections of works can be copyright if the collection "by reason of the selection and arrangement of their contents, constitute intellectual creation" (Berne convention), therefore conference proceedings may be copyright without prejudicing the copyright of the individual works that comprise the collection. The Berne convention is rather long and full of legalese but well worth reading as it is the primary text to which national copyright law satisfies to implement the Berne convention. Copyright applies to the publishing (with consent of the author(s)) of written works, movies, architecture, computer software source code, paintings, photographs, lectures and public addresses (though these may be broadcast freely at the time of delivery for "informatory purpose" - i.e. newsworthy). Copyright confers protection of the copying of these works on any media (manner or form).

Copyright exists from the moment the author (or someone or an entity with the consent of the author) publishes the work. The copyright then persists for the lifetime of the author plus 50 years (70 years in the EU), or in some cases 50 years after the publishing of the work (subject to extra protections if afforded under national legislation).

Teaching and Education

Use of copyright work within another work should always attributed. The Berne convention allows the use of quotations, and illustrations for teaching. The original source or author must be clearly indicated and the use should be fair. This right is described under Article 10: of the Berne convention relating to free use of works for teaching. The Irish Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 describes the rights established under Irish law governing copyright. Chapter 6: Acts Permitted in Relation to Works Protected by Copyright defines establishes fair dealing for research, private study, critisism, review, quotation, The Irish act (53.1) allows for no infringement of copyright of a published edition "by its being copied in the course of instruction or of preparation for instruction" provided the copying is done by the person giving or receiving instruction, the copyright is acknowledged and the person does not use a reprographic process. However a reprographic process (see definition in the Irish Act 2. Interpretation) is the process or reproducing graphic material, e.g. by photocopying, and electronic duplication, so this permission does not allow free copying of copyright material for teaching. Educational establishments are however permitted to make reprographic copies for educational purposes provided no more than 5 percent of the work is copied in any year and acknowledgement is made.

So where does this leave an educational establishment when the person giving or receiving instruction needs to read or present the whole of an article (rather than just 5%)? In this case the user of the article needs to obtain permission from the owner of the copyright to duplicate the work, or they need to obtain their own copies of the work if it is publicly available, either by purchase or licence. In an attempt to regularise academic access to the widest possible section of copyright publications most educational establishments take part in licensing schemes with providers of publications. In the case of University College Dublin the Library manages the purchase and access rights to these publications. Information on the publications and instructions to access are available at the UCD Library web site


The copyright act sets out the basic or default protections afforded by national legislation conforming with the principles of the Berne convention. The author or copyright owner can however grant licences to persons to authorise them to undertake any of the acts restricted by copyright. That is, a licence can provide a person with more liberal terms and conditions in the way that they can use the copyright work. This is one of the foundations on which software copyright licences are established (and by extension the proprietary software industry). The copyright owner attaches special permissions for people using the licence to use the authors copyright work, for example by allow free copying for educational purposes, or allowing free use and adaptation of the work, provided a special acknowledgement message is included. Examples of these kind of licences are available, like this paper on Phenomenographic research into learning, or the BSD software licence

Aside: The Irish act states that "converting a computer program expressed in a low level computer language into a version expressed in a higher level computer language" is not fair deailing, i.e. decompilation is not allowed by default, you need the authors permission or a licence to do so.


The Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000. Note the material on even these pages is copyright as follows... "© Government of Ireland. Oireachtas Copyright Material is reproduced with the permission of the Houses of the Oireachtas"

Overview at the the Irish Patents Office

UCD Library electronic resources


Review the Wired article Attack of the Radio Clones, what are the possible copyright implications of a broadcaster providing playlist content very similar to competitors? Comment on the use of a different media to deliver the playlist in terms of the Berne convention.


This is a special example where the individual authors of articles retain their own copyright, and the publisher of the collection of articles acquires copyright the publication in total by virtue of the organisation; selection, order, page number and other aspects related to the publication of the articles.:

  ISBN: 1902277929
  Relationships in Electronic Markets. Proceedings of The Eleventh 
  Research Symposium on Emerging Electronic Markets (RSEEM 2004).  
  Stefan Klein (Editor). Department of Management Information 
  Systems, Faculty of Commerce, University College Dublin, 
  September 16, 2004. 1st Edition. ISBN: 1902277929

  This work is subject to copyright.  All rights reserved. No part 
  of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form 
  or by any means without permission in writing from the authors. 
  Permission to reproduce or transmit this publication must be 
  obtained from the publisher.

  Printed by the Department of Management Information Systems, 
  Faculty of Commerce, University College Dublin.


Also as a notice on pages:

  © RSEEM 2004 and individual authors of papers



There is another Berne convention for the conservation of European wildlife and habitats. Same banner name, very different goal. Comes as a result no doubt of lots of goverment conferences being held in Berne, the capital of Switzerland.