United States of America
Copyright and Related Rights
5. It is not clear whether computer programs are protected as literary works under Article 8 of the Copyright Act, and whether compilations of data in machine readable form are protected. Please explain whether and how computer programs and databases and other compilations are protected under Irish law.
Computer programmes are protected as literary works in Irish law. Council Directive No. 91/250/EEC which protects computer programmes as literary works was transposed into Irish law by S.I. No. 26 of 1993 European Communities (Legal Protection of Computer Programmes) Regulations 1993. This protection for computer programmes as literary works was further encompassed in the Copyright (Foreign Countries) Order 1996 S.I. No. 36 of 1996, which extends copyright protection to countries which have ratified or acceded to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization Done at Marrakesh on 15th day of April 1994. Section 2(1) of the Copyright Act 1963 defines "literary work" as including any written table or compilation. The acts restricted by the copyright in a literary, dramatic or musical work are detailed in section 8(6) of the Act. Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Legal Protection of Databases must be implemented into Irish law. This will be done in the context of our new Copyright Act which is currently being prepared.