Our copyright lawyers have a depth of expertise to advise you on all issues relating to copyright, which seeks to protect the form of expression of ideas and not the ideas themselves. Copyright provides protection from copying but does not provide a monopoly, therefore it is of no consequence if a similar or identical work already exists provided it has not been copied.
Copyright protection in most areas is covered by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and lasts for the life of the author, plus 70 years from the end of the calendar year of his death. There are no formal registration requirements in the UK.
To be protected the works must be original (i.e. the author’s own work irrespective of merit) and have been recorded in writing. The protection of copyright extends to:
- Artistic Work
- Literary Copyright
- Dramatic Work
- Musical Works
- Sound recordings, films and broadcasts
- Published Editions
Copyright law also protects internet based products, websites and displays. Computer programs, software and the preparatory design materials used to create software fall within the definition of literary works and therefore are protected by copyright as long as they are original.
Copyright infringement occurs if the work is copied, performed, shown or played in public or communicated to the public or copies are issued to the public, without the consent of the copyright owner.