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As with any large website, we have collected materials e.g. photographs, diagrams, maps, written text and explanations from many sources, and we are keenly aware of the intellectual property right issues that arise from this process.  We have - to the best of our knowledge - always sought the prior permission of the author for any material for which the copyright was not public domain.  All photographs whether they be from institutions, amateurs or even professional photographers have been kindly acknowledged, with email and website links provided.  As a further safeguard we have reduced all the photographs in size to thumbnails to minimise the likelihood that any third party might harvest them illegally, i.e. without permission from the original IPR owners.

For the Record then...

All material displayed on this website, including page layouts, diagrams, text and images may not be copied in whole or part without prior written permission.  All non material has been used with the permission of the copyright owners.  If you want to use their material, contact them via their email links.

All external sites linked to or from are all subject to our disclaimer.  If you want to link to our site, deep and hot linking are not encouraged and please ask to link in advance, as a courtesy if nothing else!  All materials are (c) Copyright Kieran Hanrahan 2002. The use of any content without prior written permission is prohibited. Please ask as all we look for is credit and a link to this site.

A Basic Guide to IPR on the Web

Copyright is useful in protecting the text in a document but not the idea illustrated by the words.  Copyright is used in the protection of song lyrics, literature, and other materials where the sequence and specific words used are vital or the key to the material’s intrinsic value.  Copyright costs the author nothing - no fees etc.

The important regulation in relation to multimedia is that the formal written consent of every author is required for every piece/element used in the construction of a brand new multimedia product.  If one single authorisation is missing, or simply forgotten, then the entire project is illegal.  This leads to the practice of Assignment of Copyright, a scenario in which authors grant licences to a party for the use of their material in specific items.  This may involve the payment of a licence or royalty to the author.  In Ireland such royalities could usually deemed artistic (and thus tax free) income.

The Author of any piece of intellectual property has Moral Rights under EU legislation. Despite moral rights (a) carrying no economic importance and (b) being a continental legal concept, in Ireland we are obliged under international treaties to respect these rights. 

Moral rights pertaining to an author relate to (a) integrity and context – that the material will be used in the context for which it was intended and for which it was originally developed, and equally that it will not be used in a manner which distorts its integrity i.e. tampers or changes its meaning or treatment of its subject(s), and (b) attribution and non-attribution – specifically an author has the right to see their name listed as the author of the material in question, or to see their name de-listed and not used, as they so wish.  Film directors who are not happy with the film cut produced by the studio for release will quite often insist on non-attribution… this is why John Smith has made so many films!

Rights of the Copyright Owner:

 The copyright owner is deemed to be the author.  Authors are entitled to: -

  1. Make or authorise any form of distribution, including rental of originals or copies.

  2. Make or authorise permanent reproductions, however all contracts preventing back-ups are expressly prohibited by copyright legislation.

  3. Make or authorise any alterations, including all adaptations, translations into other languages or formats, arrangements etc., and allow for reproductions of same...

The sale rather than the licence of copyright will exhaust all control over the distribution of a good.  The sale of the licence however will not exhaust control over further rental of the same goods, e.g. in the video tape industry... and this is just the tip of the iceberg!