What is Copyright?

12-01-2012 11:44

You will invariably come across copyright in your professional and business life but also in your personal life.  For example, downloading music files or uploading photos onto social media sites.  We thought we would explain a bit about copyright in this blog.

Copyright is a right preventing others from copying your “original works”.  “Original” doesn’t mean that the work has to be particularly inventive or creative.  It means that the work has to be from an original source, not copied from somewhere else and from the intellectual creation of the author.  For example, this short blog would attract copyright protection, even though there is nothing inventive about it and it is relatively short.  Similarly, text on your organisation’s website will almost certainly attract copyright protection. 

Many various works attract copyright protection including text, photos, diagrams, sketches, brochures, leaflets. 

There is automatic protection for the relevant period.  As soon as the work is recorded in some way, e.g. in writing or a photo is taken, the copyright arises and lasts for the relevant period.  It does not need registration which is often something that surprises many people.  It is helpful to put a copyright notice on all works (i.e. the © symbol followed by the copyright owner’s name and date of creation of the work).  This helps other people to see that you are claiming copyright in the particular work.

We intend to explore the issue of infringement of Intellectual Property rights, including copyright, in more detail in upcoming blogs but if you would like any further information, please contact Emma Hayward.

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