Taking and publishing photographs (An examination of the legal rights and restrictions)
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This doctoral thesis investigates the legal rights of photographers and photograph publishers in Ireland to take and/or publish still photographs. For comparative purposes, an analysis of the applicable law in the United Kingdom was undertaken and where appropriate, the research makes specific mention of a number of other jurisdictions, such as New Zealand and France. The thesis examines the over-arching right of photographers and photograph publishers to freedom of expression and the main vehicle for the implementation in practice of that right by them, namely through copyright law. It identifies and examines photographers’ rights under copyright law, how copyright law protects those rights and the remedies available under copyright law to the owners of the copyright in photographs against the infringement of those rights. It investigates whether, how and the extent, if any, to which photographers and publishers’ rights under copyright law are being eroded and diluted and whether those rights should be further protected and enforced. Photographers’ and photograph publishers’ rights are not absolute and this thesis investigates the types of legal restrictions and/or prohibitions, which may be placed upon those rights, as a consequence of, for example, the protection and enforcement of the legal, personal rights of others, and of the State’s duty to maintain public order; to protect the security and defence of the State; to prevent and/or to investigate crime, and to protect public morals. The thesis offers a number of recommendations, which would strengthen the protection and enforcement of photographers’ and photograph publishers’ existing legal rights. It also recommends the enactment of statutory provisions concerning some specific rights of individuals, including the right to privacy and the right not to be harassed by photographers and photograph publishers.