This note sets out brief guidance on UK Copyright, Copyright protection and Copyright infringement by third party rights under the UK Copyright Act (Copyright, Design and Patent Act 1988).
What is copyright ©?
Copyright is a form of Intellectual Property (IP) which rewards owners of creative works. Copyright is essentially an expression of facts or ideas and some examples of this are as follows:
- Literary works
- Dramatic works
- Musical works
- Artistic works
- Recordings Broadcasts
Ideas and facts cannot be protected, as Copyright protection is dependent on the creation of a physical piece of work by Copyright law.
Like other forms of IP rights, Copyright is an intangible asset and as such can be sold or licensed.
Copyright protection is automatic and a there is no requirement for registration. In addition to this a © symbol isn’t required to evidence that a piece of work is Copyright protected, although, it is recommended that a © is shown in order to deter third parties from using a Copyright work without authorisation. If the year of creation and the owner is added, this is a clear signal to any potential infringement.
While logos are protected by Copyright, it is highly recommended that they are also protected by way of a trade mark (where possible). This strengthens an IP owner’s protection and makes it easier and more cost effective to enforce an IP owner’s rights.