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Summary of U.K. copyright law
In the UK there is no formal registration process to copyright an original work in order for it to be protected, unlike the United States where the Library of Congress has a formal copyright registration process. In the UK, copyright arises automatically on the expression of an idea but does not protect the idea itself; Copyright protects the expression of that idea in a 'work'. This work must be original and exhibit a degree of labour, skill or judgement. However, it is important to understand that in a court of law, without any proof of the creation date, a creative individual may struggle to support any claims regarding the origination of their work.
What type of works can be copyrighted?
Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, copyright subsists, subject to certain criteria, automatically by statute (without the need formally to register it in any centralised registry) in nine types of work and which can conveniently be divided into three categories:

1) Original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works.
2) Sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programmes.
3) The typographical arrangement of published editions.

For example, types of original works that can be copyrighted and protected include, Song Lyrics, Sculptures, Computer Programs, Manuscripts, Logos, Plays, Photography, Books, Articles, Magazines, Drawings, Painting, Sound Recordings, Film, Recordings and Scores.
Can I copyright an idea ?
No. Copyright may apply to the work that outlines and describes the idea. In some cases, ideas of creative works that can be patented can protected by the patent you apply for. For example an idea behind an invention for a safer baby seat belt can be patented.
What about names / Logos?
Names, titles, slogans or phrases are not subject to copyright, although it may be possible to register these as Trademarks. However, a logo that combines these elements may be copyrighted.

For more information on this please visit:
What rights does copyright entitle me to?
A copyright owner is automatically entitled to a set of exclusive rights, and can authorise, license or assign others to:
  • Copy the work
  • Issue copies to the public
  • Rent or lend to the public
  • Perform, show or play the work in public
  • Adapt the work
Are there exceptions to copyright?
Fair dealing or fair use provisions exist and allow for copying of works without infringement. For instance a copy of a work for private study, criticism or review may be allowed.
What are moral rights?
There are certain moral rights, the most common being the right to be identified as the author or creator of the original work, to which copyright owners are entitled.
Do I need to register copyright?
No. As stated above in the summary, copyright arises automatically on the expression of an idea.
Are there advantages in registering Copyright?
There are many benefits in registering and protecting your works, including:
  • Proving the originality and priority of your works with evidence of the date and time of creation
  • Being able to associate your identity with the work and the date and time of creation
  • Deterring copycats and thus preventing copyright infringements
  • Potential avoidance of legal costs and time spent protecting your Intellectual Property rights
What do I get when I protect my work with iCreateditfirst?
  • A secure registration and storage service for your works
  • Each work you register and protect is given a unique creation date and time stamp, that cannot be altered
  • A unique and dynamically generated Digital Copyright Seal for your registered works
  • The ability to associate your identity with the work along with the date and time of creation
  • The ability to show the date and time of creation at any time and in any place where an Internet connection is available
Together, these provide you with strong evidence of your copyright ownership if challenged.
File formats supported by iCreateditfirst?
iCreateditfirst supports any digital file format; for example JPG, TIFF, BMP, MP3, XLS, WAV, DOC, PSD, HTML, CSS.
International copyright information and treaties
  • The Berne Convention is a major copyright treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Website
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), created as an alternative to the Berne Convention Website
  • UNESCO, provide a collection of National Copyright Laws Website
Other useful links:
Wikipedia - The free online Encyclopedia
The Patent Office
Harmsworth House
13-15 Bouverie Street
Tel: 08459 500 505
The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
95 Chancery Lane
tel: 020 7405 9450
fax: 020 7430 0471
Performing Rights Society/British Copyright Council
29-33 Berners Street
Tel. (0207) 306 4069 -B.C.C.
Tel. (0207) 580 5544 -P.R.S.
Copyright Licensing Agency
90 Tottenham Court Road
Tel. 020 7631 555
Mechanical Copyright Protection Society
Elgar House
41 Streatham High Road
SW16 1ER
Tel. (0208) 664 4400
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