United Kingdom Encyclopedia of Law     Wiki Legal Encyclopedia (BETA)
Search in more than 1.500.000 entries

Copyright in United Kingdom

Definition of Copyright

In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Copyright :

The exclusive right to reproduce or authorize others to reproduce artistic, dramatic, literary, or musical works. It is conferred by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which also extends to sound broadcasting, cinematograph films, and television broadcasts (including cable television). Copyright lasts for the author’s lifetime plus 70 years from the end of the year in which he died; it can be assigned or transmitted on death EU directive 93/98 requires all EU states to ensure that the duration of copyright is the life of the author plus 70 years. Copyright protection for sound recordings lasts for 50 years from the date of their publication; for broadcasts it is 50 years from the end of the year in which the broadcast took place. Directive 91/250 requires all EU member states to protect computer *software by copyright law. The principal remedies for breach of copyright (known as piracy) are an action for *damages and *account of profits or an *injunctio It is a criminal offence knowingly to make or deal in articles that infringe a copyright.

See also Berne convention; hacking.

History of Copyright

“An exclusive right to reproduce or allow others to reproduce -in accordance to Bamber Gascoigne´ Encyclopedia of Britain about “Copyright”– certain categories of intellectual material. This legal property (now belonging automatically to anyone who writes or draws anything, no matter how slight) has been gradually established over the centuries. From Tudor times printers were granted by the crown an exclusive licence to print and sell particular works.

The position of authors was improved by an act of 1709 which allowed them sole rights over a new book for 14 years from its first publication; an act of 1842 extended this period to 42 years from the book’s publication or seven years from the author’s death, whichever was longer; and an act of 1911 introduced the principle prevailing today, by which an author’s copyright (which may be sold or inherited in any work, in part or in whole) lasts a given period after his or her death. That period was 50 years until extended to 70 by a law effective from 1995. Copyright in engravings was secured in 1735, largely by the efforts of Hogarth.

Nowadays copyright extends not only to the traditional areas of art, literature, drama and music, but also to radio, film and television (inventions, however, are covered by the laws of patent).”

Crown copyright

Crown copyright is defined under section 163 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as works made by officers or servants of the Crown in the course of their duties.

Most information produced, held or disseminated by Crown bodies (most of central
government) is under Crown copyright. Most Crown copyright information is available
under the Open Government Licence (OGL), with attribution of source. The UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF) provides a policy and legal overview of the arrangements for licensing the use and re-use of public sector information, both in central government and the wider public sector. It sets out best practice, standardises the licensing principles for government information, mandates the Open Government Licence as the default licence for Crown bodies and recommends OGL for other public sector bodies. The Open Government Licence liberalises re-use of public sector information.

If Crown copyright information is not under an Open Government Licence, and no re-use
licence or conditions are apparent, you can seek permission to re-use through The National
Archives at psi email.

The National Archives administers Crown copyright and database rights through the
Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (the ‘Controller’) and the Office of the
Queen’s Printer for Scotland (OQPS).

In some cases the Controller and the OQPS delegate Crown copyright licensing
responsibility to government departments, notably information traders, provided they can
demonstrate their observance of fair trading principles.

The Crown does not share copyright with external or other public sector bodies.
Crown copyright will take precedent over other copyright; other bodies may be asked to
assign their copyright to the Crown.

Delegations of Authority

Delegations of Authority are granted by The National Archives to enable government departments or agencies to license the re-use of Crown copyright material they produce outside the terms of the Open Government Licence. Delegations of Authority are only granted if there is a valid business case and following an assessment of suitability by the Information Policy (IP) team.

Copyright assignments

Copyright is usually owned by the person or organisation that created the work. In the case of copyright works produced by civil servants, the copyright is owned by the Crown. Copyright can also come into Crown ownership by means of assignment, or transfer, of the copyright from the legal owner of the copyright to the Crown.

The Open Government Licence (OGL) is the default licence for the use and re-use of most Crown copyright material but in exceptional cases, Crown copyright may be assigned away from the Crown.

Assignments of Crown copyright are rarely granted, as they run contrary to government and open data policy.

Concept of Copyright in IP Law

Lambert defined copyright as follows: An IPR. The right to prevent others from copying, publishing, renting, lending or otherwise making available or adapting a copyright work without the licence of the copyright owner.

Rate this post

Learning is Our Passion

This entry about Copyright has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0) licence, which permits unrestricted use and reproduction, provided the author or authors of the Copyright entry and the Lawi platform are in each case credited as the source of the Copyright entry. Please note this CC BY licence applies to some textual content of Copyright, and that some images and other textual or non-textual elements may be covered by special copyright arrangements. For guidance on citing Copyright (giving attribution as required by the CC BY licence), please see below our recommendation of "Cite this Entry".

Cite this entry

Legal Citations Generator

(2020, 03). Copyright lawi.org.uk Retrieved 05, 2022, from https://lawi.org.uk/copyright/

03 2020. 05 2022 <https://lawi.org.uk/copyright/>

"Copyright" lawi.org.uk. lawi.org.uk, 03 2020. Web. 05 2022. <https://lawi.org.uk/copyright/>

"Copyright" lawi.org.uk. 03, 2020. Accesed 05 2022. https://lawi.org.uk/copyright/

Lilly Daniels, 'Copyright' (lawi.org.uk 2020) <https://lawi.org.uk/copyright/> accesed 2022 May 20

Usage Metrics

1513 Views. 1104 Visitors.

Google Scholar: Search for Copyright Related Content


Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Copyright
  • Author: Lilly Daniels
  • Description: Definition of Copyright In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Copyright : The exclusive [...]

This entry was last updated: March 23, 2020



Cyber Law

Recent Comments