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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.

Copy Righting

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 medium. Written work including software and databases

Software and databases can be protected as written work.
Theatre
Dance and mime can receive protection too.

Music
Music can have numerous types of work capable of protection.
Artistic works including photographs

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 and film.
MUSIC  

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 work.   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.
Sound recordings

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' 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 performance.  

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 non-property rights.  

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  

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    
* where ownership of a work originally vested in an author's employer    
* where the material is being used in newspapers or magazines    
* reference 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 right:      
* 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 person.

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
information@ipo.gov.uk We will respond to your email within 1 working day. Other ways to contact us ·         Outside the United Kingdom (UK): +44 (0)1633 814000 ·         Minicom (text phone): 0300 0200 015 ·         Fax: +44 (0)1633 817777 ·        

By post Intellectual Property Office
Concept House
Cardiff Road
Newport
South Wales
NP10 8QQ
United Kingdom

 
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