Some people may be wondering about UK copyright laws and we see and hear of a few individuals facing problems when it comes to having work and ideas stolen by customers and other designers a-like. The main thing to take away from this document is just because you’ve paid a designer to create something for you, DOES NOT mean you own the rights to that work. Little something to help you guys! You do not have the right to alter the artwork either without explicit permission. Look after your designer and they’ll look after you!
Copyright law and copyright originated in the UK from a concept of common law; the Statute of Anne 1709. It became statutory with the passing of the Copyright Act 1911. The current act is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
UK COPYRIGHT OVERVIEW
Copyright protects your work and stops others from using it without your permission.
You get copyright protection automatically – you don’t have to apply or pay a fee. There isn’t a register of copyright works in the UK.
You automatically get copyright protection when you create:
- original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including illustration and photography
- original non-literary written work, eg software, web content and databases
- sound and music recordings
- film and television recordings
- the layout of published editions of written, dramatic and musical works
You can mark your work with the copyright symbol (©), your name and the year of creation. Whether you mark the work or not doesn’t affect the level of protection you have.
How copyright protects your work
Copyright prevents people from:
- copying your work
- distributing copies of it, whether free of charge or for sale
- renting or lending copies of your work
- performing, showing or playing your work in public
- making an adaptation of your work
- putting it on the internet
For anyone looking to read up on more information about UK copyright law, we’ve found some very useful links to help you: