For a Copyright Licence Agreement please see: Copyright Licence Agreement
In the UK the law relating to copyright is set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA1988).
Copyright can protect:
- literary works
- dramatic works
- musical works
- artistic works
- layouts or typographical arrangements
Please note that copyright applies to any medium. Copyright protected work cannot be reproduced in another medium without prior permission, for example painting of a photograph.
Copyright is automatic thus, there is no need to apply for copyright.
Please note that copyright does not protect ideas. It is only when the work itself is fixed, for example in writing, that copyright automatically protects it.
There is no official registration system for copyright in the UK. Provided that the work qualifies for copyright protection, it is an original work and it is fixed then the work is automatically protected by copyright.
Copyright is an asset to businesses and individuals alike as it gives the owner numerous economic rights.
Copyright owners have the opportunity to make commercial gain from the exploitation of their work. Copyright owners generally have the right to authorise or prohibit any of the following things in relation to their works:
- copying the work in any way;
- issuing copies of the work to the public;
- renting or lending copies of the work to the public;
- performing, showing or playing the work in public;
- broadcasting the work or other communication to the public by electronic transmission;
- making an adaptation of the work, such as by translating a literary or dramatic work, transcribing a musical work and converting a computer program into a different computer language or code.
Copyright is infringed when any of the above acts are done without permission, whether directly or indirectly and whether the whole or a substantial part of a work is used. If copyright is infringed then the owner of the work has the right to claim damages.
A copyright owner has the right to decide whether and how the copyright work is used. A copyright owner can:
- sell the copyright but retain the moral rights (assignment of copyright);
- license the copyright for use by others but retain the ownership.
A Copyright Licence is a contractual agreement between the copyright owner and user; it sets out how the copyright work can be used.
A Copyright Licence Agreement is designed to be used where the licensor owns the copyright in one or more works and the licensee wishes to use those works. It allows the parties to decide whether the copyright licence is exclusive or non-exclusive. Also, the Agreement can be used to licence existing copyright or future copyright (works yet to be created).