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The Facts

  • Copyright protects original materials against them being used without the owner’s permission
  • Copyright is an automatic right and there is no official application process
  • Copyrights does not protect  ideas - this is the function of Patents
  • Copyright does not protect names or titles - this is the function of Trademarks
  • Copyright  applies to any medium including copy produced on electronic media
  • Copyright material can be marked with the symbol ‘©’
  • Copyright protection also applies across international borders
  • Unauthorised use of copyrighted material is illegal
  • There is no UK register of copyright

Who owns the copyright?

  • The first creator or author
  • The employer if it is produced in the ordinary course of the creator’s employment.  Employees should be made aware of this
  • The contractor unless their contract is explicit to the contrary

What does copyright cover?

  • Books
  • Technical reports
  • Manuals
  • Databases
  • Images
  • Engineering, Technical, Architectural Plans
  • Music, Songs, Plays, Films, Broadcasts
  • Promotional Materials
  • Computer Software
  • Web sites

How long does copyright last?

  • For written, information technology and artistic materials - the life of  creator plus 70 years  from their death
  • Song recording - 50 years from the date of recording
  • Broadcasts - 50 years from the date of the original broadcast