Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

When an individual creates a piece of original work copyright protection is automatic.

Ideas cannot be copyright, however, creative work interpreting ideas can.

To protect your rights you may include a copyright notice on your creative work, for example, ‘Copyright © [Year of publication] [Your name]’

You may extend the notice to explain your wishes e.g. “all rights reserved” which covers most situations and is very clear in withholding all rights.

You may wish to give consideration as to what extent certain groups may copy your work and under what terms you would allow this or give details of licensing the reproduction of your material.

You may not use another’s copyright material;

  • without permission (preferably in writing); or
  • if a license is granted, outside the terms of that license.

If the ownership of copyright is transferred this is called assignment there is more information on assignment here

It is important to remember that the assignment of copyright can only be in writing.

Read more in the UK Copyright Law fact sheet from UK Copyright Service.