Copyright Law in Ireland

Under Irish law, copyright is an unregistered right, meaning that protection automatically applies without you having to undertake a formal registration process, upon creating an applicable, original work. Such works include art, literature, music, photography, scripts, and even software – generally anything of creative origin. As a result, it’s vital to have someone draft a contract before you do anything involving copyright or alternatively have someone check a contract you’ve been presented with. Fortunately, Briffa can help with all of this and the vast majority of our services are provided on a fixed fee basis.

It’s important to note copyright only covers the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. So, if you have a great idea for a TV show, film, or song, you need to express that idea in writing, plans, and other concrete forms for copyright to apply.

In most cases, copyright belongs to the creator, although there are some exceptions – for example, works created by employees as part of their employment will usually belong to the business. There are some grey areas here, though, and if it isn’t clearly defined who owns the copyright (such as where work has been outsourced to a freelancer or third party), it can lead to a dispute.

Defining and clearly outlining copyright ownership is critical because owners have an exclusive set of rights to use, copy, and monetise the work. And, in Ireland, copyright protection can last for up to 70 years after the creator’s death, making it an exceptionally strong and long-lasting form of intellectual property rights.

What we can do?

From our intellectual property office in Cork, our lawyers can help individuals and businesses with any copyright issue. We have a deep understanding of intellectual property law, and can help you with various legal issues.

Copyright Protection

For example, if you’re the creator of an original work and want to ensure you have protection, we can advise on keeping dated records and evidence that will clearly highlight your ownership of the work.

Copyright Licensing & Contracts

Perhaps you’re looking to sell or purchase copyright, or you’re working with a third-party. We can review and draft contracts to ensure the IP rights are properly accounted for, reducing the chance of infringement claims further down the line.

Copyright Infringement

We can also enforce your rights and pursue an infringement claim if you suspect another party of copying or using your work, wholly or partially, without permission. Generally, we’ll look for a favourable settlement agreement, but we can take your case through the intellectual property litigation process if needed.

Or, if you’ve received a letter outlining a copyright infringement claim against you, we can review your position and provide advice. We can then lead your defence and try to secure the best outcome either through settlement or in the Courts.


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“Good experience working with Briffa on an IP issue. Initial conference to discuss strategy was exceptional and thereafter work was completed in a timely, diligent and effective manner. Invoicing was also always transparent, appropriate and fair.”

– David F.

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Why choose us?

Briffa is a leading law firm that specialises in intellectual property. We’re recognised by industry bodies like the Legal500 for the quality and output of our work.

We’re not your typical, traditional law firm. We’re proud to be creative, commercially aware and customer-focused, meaning we’ll figure out a course of action that meets your goals – even if it requires an alternative, out-of-the-box approach.

And, we work with a wide range of clients – from individual artists, musicians, and writers, to startups, SMEs and global brands. There’s no case too big or too small, so get in touch today to organise a free consultation with one of our copyright lawyers in Ireland.

Since 1995, we’ve established ourselves as experts in copyright law, delivering practical solutions for contentious and non-contentious matters.

We have offices in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, plus a global network of associates and industry contacts.

We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your needs before any fixed-fee quotes are given.

We provide an industry-leading service with short turnaround times and business-focused advice.

Where are we based?

Our office is in the centre of Cork, Ireland. Meetings are available by appointment.


Waterfront Square
1 Horgan’s Quay
T23 PPT8

Contact Details

Phone: +353 (021) 237 9722

Opening Hours

Monday: 9am–5:30pm
Tuesday: 9am–5:30pm
Wednesday: 9am–5:30pm
Thursday: 9am–5:30pm
Friday: 9am–5:30pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

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Key contact

Mark Eiffe leads our Irish operations. With a background working as in-house legal counsel for multinationals operating in Ireland, Mark can provide tailored, sensible advice on legal issues relating to trademark applications and infringements, passing off disputes, and licensing.

Find out more about Mark below, or follow the link to meet the rest of the team.

Book a free consultation

We’ll start with a no-obligation chat where we’ll get to know you and understand your current challenges.

Book your free consultation now

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