We have been getting plenty of enquiries about copyrighting and protection of artist music and other designs. In the first instance you do own the copyright of any original design or composition, and efvidence of first recorded or produced (for designs) is all that is required to shown when. We understand that you may want to do more than that and get legal copyright of your work.
We can assist you with this as there are processes to be completed - there are are cost in both our time and in the actual applications (depending on what you need protecting, how much, and how easy it is to complete the process). We have also provided below a summary of the process for protecting your music if this is something you are interested in doing.
Copyright applies to...Original works
Most works must be original to have copyright protection.|
Websites and the internet
The same rules apply on the internet as with other
Written work including software and databases|
Software and databases can be protected as written work.
Dance and mime can receive protection too.
Music can have numerous types of work capable of
Artistic works including photographs
are also artistic works.
Spoken word and performers
Performers of spoken word may receive protection.
TV and Film
Numerous types of work can be protected in the case of TV
Copyright applies to a musical composition when it is set
down in permanent form, either by writing it down or in any other manner. With
a song there will usually be more than one copyright associated with it. If you
are the composer of the music you will be the author of the musical work and
will have copyright in that music.
The lyrics of a song are protected
separately by copyright as a literary work. The person who writes the lyrics
will own the copyright in the words.
If your work is subsequently recorded the sound recording
will also have copyright protection. The producer of the recording will own the
copyright in the sound recording.
Composers of music may also have moral rights in their
Copyright is like any form of physical property in that
you can buy it, sell it, inherit or otherwise transfer it, wholly or in part.
Therefore, some or all of the economic rights may subsequently belong to
someone other than you, the first owner.
In the case of a sound recording the author and first
owner of copyright is the record producer.
Sound recordings do not have to be original but they will
not be new copyright works if they have been copied from existing sound
recordings. It may be therefore that the
courts would consider that your re-mastering of an existing recording does not
have copyright protection.
Sound recordings may also contain Performers' rights
Performers are entitled to various rights in their
performances, whether these take place on the stage, during a concert and so
on. Performers also have rights in any
recordings, films or broadcasts of their performances.
In many cases, but not always, the performance may be of
a copyright work - literary, dramatic or musical - so the performers' rights
will be in addition to the rights of copyright owners with respect to the
performance and subsequent exploitation of any recording or broadcast of the
A performer has the right to control the broadcasting of
his or her live performance to the public. The permission of a performer must
also be sought before a recording of the live performance is made. These are referred to as a performer's
Once a recording of the performance has been made, the
performer's permission is also needed to make copies of that recording. A
performer may be entitled to remuneration in respect of broadcasting, other
types of communication to the public by electronic transmission, public
performance and rental of those copies.
These are a performer's property rights.
It will usually be necessary, therefore, to obtain
permission from the performers in advance for activities that would infringe
any of these rights.
A performer also has moral rights.
Moral rights give the authors of literary, dramatic,
musical, artistic works and film directors the right:
* to be
identified as the author of the work or director of the film in certain
circumstances, e.g. when copies are issued to the public.
* to object to
derogatory treatment of the work or film which amounts to a distortion or
mutilation or is otherwise prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the
author or director.
In contrast to the economic rights under copyright, moral
rights are concerned with protecting the personality and reputation of authors.
The right to be identified cannot be exercised unless it
has been asserted, that is, the author or director has indicated their wish to
exercise the right by giving notice to this effect (which generally has to be
in writing and signed) to those seeking to use or exploit the work or film.
Moreover, the author or director can waive both the right
to be identified and the right to object to derogatory treatment.
There are a number of situations within which these
rights do not apply including:
* where the
work is a computer program
ownership of a work originally vested in an author's employer
* where the
material is being used in newspapers or magazines
works such as encyclopaedias or dictionaries
Authors of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works
and film directors are also granted the moral right not to have a work or film
falsely attributed to them.
Performers also have Moral rights which include the
* to be
identified as the performer and
* to object to
derogatory treatment of performance.
Moral rights last for as long as copyright lasts in the
work although the creator may waive, that is choose not to exercise, his or her
moral rights. Unlike copyright they cannot be sold or assigned to another
The above information is found on the www.ipo.gov.uk website for the Intellectual
Property Office , the official copyrighting body in the UK.
Call us on 0300 300 2000 (Calls to 0300 numbers
are charged at your network provider's standard national rate).
Our office hours are 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday,
excluding Bank Holidays. Last year we answered 83% of calls within 20 seconds.
Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will respond to your email within 1 working day.
Other ways to contact us
Outside the United Kingdom (UK): +44 (0)1633
Minicom (text phone): 0300 0200 015
Fax: +44 (0)1633 817777
Intellectual Property Office