General Advice

Business advice on everything from fire safety regulations to basic copyright matters.

International Copyright Laws

The UK is a member of many international agreements including the Berne Convention, which requires that the national law of each member state automatically extends minimum standards of copyright protection to nationals of all other member states. Most Western European countries, and the USA and Russia, are now signatories of the Berne Convention. Under this agreement, you do not have to mark your work in any way for automatic protection to apply. However, despite marking your work not being a requirement of the Berne Convention, it is sensible to mark your work with the international © symbol, followed by the name of the copyright owner and year in which the work was created. In this way you can be identified as the copyright owner of the work and a person who wishes to use the work c... »

Locating a Copyright Owner

If you want to get permission from a copyright owner you will need to consider who owns or controls the rights in the material. This person could be: the author of the material or his heirs, or the author’s employer, or anyone else to whom the rights in the material have been sold, or otherwise transferred or exclusively licensed, or a collecting society which has been asked to collect fees on behalf of the rights holder. Copyright is an automatic right and no UK registers exist to locate the author or right holder in a work. If you wish to trace a rights holder, there is no official body that can help you directly, but you could try the following: Contact the appropriate collecting society (see Copyright Contacts) Contact the author’s publisher, agent, representative etc. Carr... »

Exceptions to Copyright

Copyright gives authors and owners some significant rights to determine whether and how their works may be reproduced or otherwise used. (See Copyright Ownership: What Rights Do You Have?) However, there are exceptions which allow use of copyright works within certain conditions and limits, without infringing copyright. You will not infringe copyright if you use less than a substantial part of a copyright protected work (although what is substantial can be difficult to determine and is not only considered in terms of the proportion of the work taken). There are a number of provisions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) that allow use of copyright material without infringing. These are referred to in this booklet as permitted uses. Please note that this list is not exhaust... »

How to Get Copyright Protection and Copyright Enforcement

There is no official registration system for copyright in the UK and most other parts of the world. There are no forms to fill in and no fees to pay to get copyright protection. If you have created a work that qualifies for copyright protection, you will have copyright protection once you meet the criteria for protection (see What is protected by copyright). You do not, however, have to fill out any forms or pay any money to receive protection. In fact, it is a requirement of various international conventions on copyright that copyright should be automatic. To help protect your copyright work, it is advisable to mark it with the © symbol, the name of the copyright owner and the year in which the work was created. Although this is not essential in the UK, it will let others know when t... »

How Long Does Copyright Protection Last?

The term of protection or duration of copyright varies depending on the type of copyright work and when the work was created. The provisions which govern term are very complicated. The general principles are set out below. Literary, dramatic musical and artistic works The term of protection in the UK for an original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years from the end of the year in which they die. In the case of joint authorship (see Copyright Ownership) the term of copyright protection in such a work is calculated with reference to the date of the death of the last surviving author. Films Copyright in a film runs out 70 years after the end of the year in which the death occurs of the last to survive of the principal director, the author... »

Copyright Ownership – What Can You Do With It?

Although in most cases the economic and moral rights belong to the person who creates the work (see Copyright ownership), copyright is a form of property, which, like physical property, can be sold, bought, inherited or otherwise transferred, wholly or in part. A copyright owner can do a lot with their copyright. Assignment An assignment transfers the full (all economic rights) or partial (some economic rights) ownership of the copyright from the author to another person (the assignee) who will then become the owner of the rights transferred. The rights or right can be assigned for a limited time or for a particular territory. The copyright in works that will be created in future can also be assigned. The author may assign the copyright for a fixed sum. In some cases, royalties may be paid... »

Copyright Ownership: What Rights do you Have?

If you have created a copyright work, you have certain exclusive rights over certain uses of that work. Rights granted to authors fall into two categories: economic rights and moral rights. Copyright is infringed when any of the economic rights are utilised without permission of the copyright owner, whether directly or indirectly in respect of the whole or a substantial part of a work (see Copyright Enforcement). Economic Rights Economic rights give the copyright owner the opportunity to make commercial gain from the exploitation made of their works. It also allows an author to take action to claim compensation for and prevent infringing acts. There are six economic rights. These rights do not apply to all works, and we note some of the major distinctions below. The author of a copyright w... »

Copyright Ownership

The Author as First Owner As a general rule of thumb the author of the work is the first owner of copyright and any moral rights which are contained within it (see Moral Rights). In the case of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, (including photographs) the author of the work meaning the person who creates it. In the case of films, the author is the producer and the principal director (only the principal director has the moral rights) In the case of broadcasts, the author is the broadcaster In the case of a sound recording, the author is the producer In the case of a typographical arrangement, the author is the publisher What if there is more than one author? Where two or more people have created a single work protected by copyright and the contribution of each author is not dis... »

What is Protected by Copyright What is Not Protected by Copyright?

What is Protected by Copyright? Original Works To receive copyright protection, literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works must be original. Ultimately, only the courts can decide whether a work is original or not. However, broadly, two elements constitute originality in the UK. First, the work must not be copied. Second, an author must have expended more than negligible labour, skill and effort in the creation of the work. To receive protection, films, sound recordings, typographical arrangements and broadcasts do not need to satisfy the originality criteria. Instead films, sound recordings and typographical arrangements receive protection if they are not copied from a previous work of the same kind. Broadcasts will receive copyright protection if they do not infringe the copyright of... »

Funding a Car through Salary Sacrifice

Funding a Car through Salary Sacrifice

Funding a new car under a salary sacrifice scheme has many benefits to the employee and can be achieved with minimal cost and disruption to an employer. In brief terms, it is an arrangement put in place by an employer as an employee benefit whereby the employee agrees to give up part of their pre-tax salary – or ‘sacrifice’ it – in exchange for leasing a non-cash benefit such as a car. It is not intended as a replacement for a traditional company car scheme. While benefit-in-kind tax is payable by the employee on the car based on its list price and carbon dioxide emissions, this is often substantially lower than the income tax the employee would have paid on the salary sacrificed. And unlike a personally funded new car, a car provided under salary sacrifice includes all the traditional ben... »

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