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Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
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Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My question relates to an Irish Copyright matter. Would it

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My question relates to an Irish Copyright matter.
Would it be permissible to transcribe an historical local interest story published in a nationally circulating Irish newspaper some 98 years ago so that it can be reproduced for publication in a contemporary local interest monthly magazine?

Buachaill :

1. In these circumstances, I would advise you to get a licence from the National newspaper, if the newspaper is still publishing. Essentially, copyright subsists in an original work such as a newspaper for the life of the author plus 70 years. Here, even if 98 years have passed, you will have to show that the author died within 28 years of writing the piece for copyright to possibly have lapsed. In this manner, you can publish. However, be aware that a licence can be bought for very little. So I would tend to veer towards safety rather than be hit with a legal action. Be aware also, that the reason publications such as the Freeman's Journal are quoted so liberally is that there is no one to assert copyright on its behalf as it is now defunct!

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