Q. Copyright essentials
Relationship between IPR & Copyright
Copyright is one of a number of laws and rights that govern Intellectual Property Rights in the UK and elsewhere. These include:
- Moral rights
- Performance rights
- Database rights
What is copyright?
- Copyright is the legal right governing who may copy or adapt a piece of intellectual property
- It is a property right, providing legal protection to the owners of works
- It is time restricted, but timings differ according to media
- It can be granted or sold in different ways, e.g. an author can grant permission for their work to be used in different formats, in different territories, for particular periods of time
What does copyright apply to?
- Ideas and facts are not copyrightable but something made tangible into a fixed and copyable form is
- Eight categories of work are copyrightable:
- literary works
- dramatic works
- musical works
- artistic works
- sound recordings
- typographical arrangements of published editions
- What is produced must be original
- Skill and judgement is required, proportionate to your ability
- If all these criteria are in place copyright automatically exists, it does not need to be registered
Who owns copyright?
- Typically the creator of the work, but not inevitably
- Work undertaken by an employee within an organisations, including universities like King’s, is owned by the institution
- King’s typically (but not always) waives the copyright to work by researchers to enable scholarly publication of academic books and journal articles etc
- Funders and grant awarding bodies may sometimes claim an interest as a condition of the grant. Commissioned work is usually owned by the commissioning agency.
- See King’s Code of Practice for Intellectual Property, Commercial Exploitation & Financial Benefits
How long does copyright last?
Copyright protection starts as soon as a work is created. Once copyright has expired, anyone can use or copy the work. The length of copyright depends on the type of work.
UK Copyright Duration
Type of work
How long copyright usually lasts
Written, dramatic, musical and artistic work
70 years after the author’s death
Sound and music recording
70 years from when it’s first published
70 years after the death of the director, screenplay author or composer
50 years from when it’s first broadcast
Layout of published editions of written, dramatic or musical works
25 years from when it’s first published
Using copyright material
- When planning to use material that is or may be copyrighted, consider the following questions:
- Where are you using the material? A web page? In the VLE? Some printed publicity material? Material that is freely available online has a higher risk of being identified as infringing copyright.
- Can you acceptably substitute another resource that doesn't have copyright restrictions?
- How to copy legitimately:
- Use a work that you are free to use without requesting permission, e.g. a work licensed by Creative Commons licence such as CC-BY
- Own the work
- Buy or operate under a licence
- Use an exception in UK law
- Seek permission from the rights owner