For Written Answer on : 17/10/2023
Question Number(s): 204 Question Reference(s): 45142/23
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment with reference to the Committee on Budgetary Oversight’s May 2023 Report on Section 481 – Films Tax Credit, the action he intends to take with respect to the Committee recommendation (details supplied).
(Details Supplied) that “under the industry test, assurance must be given that Irish performers will not be subject to lesser terms and conditions regarding their intellectual property rights than international performers in similar roles when employed on the same project receiving Section 481 funding” and recommendation number 8 “that compliance with the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000, as well as the EU Copyright Directive should be a specified requirement in order to avail of the Section 481 credit”
The Report on Section 481 – Films Tax Credit contains references to Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC (‘DSM Copyright Directive’). This Directive was transposed into Irish law by way of the European Union (Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market) Regulations 2021, Statutory Instrument No. 567 of 2021. The Regulations were signed by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment on 12 November 2021 and are therefore applicable from that date.
The Irish implementing S.I., Statutory Instrument No. 567 of 2021, transposed the mandatory provisions of the Directive, and accordingly, all of the provisions of the Irish S.I. are obligations of EU law.
While the Section 481 Report lists a number of recommendations following the piece on ‘Intellectual Property Rights’ those recommendations do not relate to the substance of the copyright legislation itself.
Section 481 (of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997) is a provision of tax legislation, so both it and the terms on which the relief applies are matters for tax legislation, which is within the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister of Finance. Furthermore, I understand that for a production to qualify for the relief (under s.481) it must have been issued with a cultural certificate by the Minster for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media – the criteria to obtain this certification as well as the industry test fall under the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Neither I nor my Department has any role in the enforcement of intellectual property rights, as this is a matter primarily for the holders of the respective rights themselves.