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How young creators can use copyright to protect innovation

26 Apr 2022 / IP Print

How young creators can use IP to protect innovation

With content creation at an all-time high due to platforms such as Meta, TikTok and YouTube, the Law Society and IMRO have joined forces to explore how intellectual property and IP rights such as patents, copyright and trademarks can be used to protect innovation and revenue on World IP Day, which falls today, 26 April 2022.

Reflecting on this year’s World IP Day theme, IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future, IMRO Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the Law Society, Dr Mark Hyland said “Young people today are a key source of ingenuity and creativity. Their fresh perspectives on global and local issues, intellectual curiosity and hunger for a better future are driving innovation and change at a rapid pace."

IMRO administers the performing right in copyright music on behalf of its members (songwriters, composers, and music publishers) and on behalf of members of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it.


“World IP Day 2022 is a fantastic opportunity to showcase how young creators can use intellectual property to protect innovation and revenue in the ever-evolving digital age," said Dr Hyland.

“Taking the music industry as an example, on-demand streaming continues to grow steadily as an important source of revenue for right holders and music creators. However, this music copyright needs to be safeguarded through IP protection.

"Projects, which may be small at the beginning, grow, create employment, bolster careers, and benefit society generally,” explained Dr Hyland.

The term ‘intellectual property’ (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as:

  • Inventions,
  • Literary and artistic works,
  • Designs and symbols, names and images used in commerce,
  • Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are the legal rights given to persons over these creations.

IPRs play an important role in encouraging innovation and creativity. Patents, trademarks, copyright and designs are all included under the IPR umbrella and give the creator exclusive rights over the use of their IP for a certain period of time.

Innovative youth leaders

“With one of the youngest populations in Europe and one of the most highly educated in the world, Ireland is a global innovation leader. Ireland’s people constitute its most significant competitive advantage,” said Dr Hyland.

Through strategic use of IP and IPRs, Ireland’s young inventors and creators can help build a better future for Ireland and Europe. 

Dr Hyland added that a fundamental building block in our digital environment is Directive (EU) 2019/790 on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

Article 17 of this directive imposes heavy new obligations on online service providers, such as Meta, TikTok and YouTube, when it comes to copyright-protected works uploaded to their platforms by individual internet users, he said.

“A key part of the new liability regime is the obligation imposed on these service providers to obtain permission from copyright holders concerning protected works uploaded by users to their platforms.” 

“In helping to significantly modernise the EU’s copyright regime and ensure a high level of protection for copyright holders in the EU, the directive will be a very useful piece of legislation to protect the future of youth-led innovation and creativity,” Dr Hyland explained. 

Annual copyright lecture 

Dr Hyland will join IMRO external director James Hickey at this year’s IMRO and Law Society annual copyright lecture to further explore the topics of copyright and IP. 

Together they will examine ‘Article 17 of the Digital Single Market Directive, complex and challenging in equal measure’. 

The complimentary conference takes place from 5:30pm-7pm on Wednesday, 4 May, at the Law Society Education Centre.

Advance registration is required.

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