No. Irish copyright law specifically protects the reproduction right, the adaptation right and the communication to the public right. It is clear that the upload of music protected by copyright as a soundtrack for a home video to be uploaded to a video platform without the authorisation of the rights holder would very likely infringe all three of the aforementioned rights. Furthermore, under Irish copyright law, authors and performers also enjoy moral rights, so performer’s rights may also be infringed in this scenario.
There are no possible defences in respect of User Generated Content (UGC) over and above the standard defences available under the CRRA 2000. Statutory defences include the following:
- in order to infringe the author’s copyright, a ‘substantial’ part of the work must have been copied. However, users are often reluctant to rely on this exemption as a few bars of music would likely satisfy this threshold to constitute an infringement of the reproduction right;
- in relation to the making available rights under Irish law (which includes the right of communication to the public) posting the music on an online platform would bring the work before a ‘new public’ and thus infringe;
- there are further exceptions under the CRRA 2000 for ‘fair dealing’ (e.g. for the purposes of research or private study; or for criticism, review or for reporting current events). In all cases the use must be conducted in a way that does not prejudice the rights of the copyright owner. In the case of the latter, provided further that the use of the work is accompanied by an acknowledgement identifying the author and title of the work; and
- the use of the author’s works for certain educational purposes is permitted.
It is difficult to see how any of the existing exceptions or limitations could apply to infringement of copyright via UGC.