Streaming is not treated in any specific way under Irish law. The streaming of content without permission of rights holders could potentially constitute an infringement of both the reproduction right and the making available right.
The issue of whether streaming involves an act of reproduction has not been settled in this jurisdiction to date by either statute or case law.
Under Section 40 CRRA 2000, the owner has the exclusive right to prohibit or authorise others to make the work available to the public through broadcasting or recordings. It is possible that rights holders could rely on Section 40(1)(a) CRRA 2000 when asserting that there has been a copyright infringement (i.e. ‘making available to the public of copies of the work, by wire or wireless means, in such a way that members of the public may access the work from a place and at a time chosen by them (including the making available of copies of works through the Internet);’).
It is worth noting that streaming, rather than downloading, could be legal in the context of a licensing agreement (services like Spotify, Netflix, etc.).
No specific defences for consumers are provided for streaming under Irish law.
Posted in: FAQs on Copyright