Copyrights Advice and Protection

Everything you need to know about Copyrights

Do you want to use the value of your creative assets to grow your business?

Do you want to prevent other people from taking advantage of those creative assets without paying you?

Understanding and using Copyright law can help you do this.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is the legal right of a creator to prevent other people from copying things that they create. The types of creative work that have copyright under English law are set out in a statute called the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, 1988 (or CDPA). Copyright can apply to a wide range of creations, such as:

  • Photos
  • Films
  • Documents
  • Articles
  • Games
  • ‘How to’ guides
  • Audio
  • Databases
  • Designs
  • Compilations
  • Artwork
  • Methodologies
  • Surveys
  • Software

Many businesses own far more copyrights than they realise.

Why is Copyright important?

  • help you protect the value of what you create and stop other people stealing it;
  • add to the value of your company
  • make it easier to raise investment
  • help you create revenue streams from licensing or exploiting your copyrights

How can we help?

LawBriefs lawyers can help you quickly and cost-effectively to

  • work out which copyrights you own or could own
  • advise you on how to protect your copyrights
  • help you maximise the commercial potential of your copyrights
  • help you avoid infringing other peoples’ copyrights

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Copyright FAQ's

How long does a copyright last?

Copyright doesn’t last forever, and the period of protection varies fro different works:

  • Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works: 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author dies.
  • Films: 70 years from the end of the calendar years in which it was published.
  • Broadcasts: 50 years from the end of the calendar year of broadcast.
  • Typographical arrangement of published editions: 25 years from the end of the year of first publication.
  • Sui generis databases: 15 years from first publication.

What is copyright infringement?

If you’re the copyright owner in a piece of work, only you are permitted to do a number of specific acts during these periods of time; nobody else can do them without infringing your copyright.

The CDPA sets out these infringing acts, which are divided into two general categories: infringement and acts of secondary infringement.

What is primary infringement?

Primary infringement

The six acts of primary infringement don’t require knowledge of infringement or intention to infringe:

  • Copying the work, including downloading
  • Issuing copies of the work to the public
  • Renting or lending the work to the public
  • Performing, showing or playing the work in public
  • Communicating the work to the public
  • Making an adaption of the work or doing any of the above in relation to an adaptation

Authorising another person to do any of these acts is also a primary infringement.

What is secondary infringement?

Secondary infringement

Acts of secondary infringement require some knowledge by the infringer that the work is infringing and frequently apply to retailers or publishers.

These infringing acts include importing infringing copies of the work into the UK other than for domestic and private use; selling infringing copies; making, copies of copyrighted works; and knowingly transmitting infringing copies of the work over a telecommunications system such as the Internet.

How can I stop someone else infringing my copyrighted work?

You can get your legal representatives to send cease and desist letters. These letters inform the suspected infringer that he/she is making use of the work without the authorisation of the copyright owner and demanding that this action stops, or the infringer risks facing legal action.

Taking businesses from idea to ideal

Submit your enquiry today to receive expert guidance from our Intellectual property lawyers.

Our lawyers provide quick and accessible legal advice at half the price of a high street legal company, so ensure you are protecting your business’ assets and value by protecting your copyrights today.   We offer a free no-obligation 15min legal phone consultation with our Intellectual Property lawyers.

Why use LawBite

We're Copyright experts - regulated and experienced UK Lawyers

Lawbriefs, LawBite’s regulated law firm, working in conjunction with our platform

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