This website is using cookies. More info. That's Fine


Copyright Cover Guides COPYRIGHT LAW UK

The concept of copyright started from Great Britain. In 1710 under the Statute of Anne.

According to United Kingdom laws, copyright is the right of ownership an individual can exercise on an original intellectual property creation. This right is exercised under the copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988.

Also, other governing statutes to note is Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the European parliament copyright new rule which may no more be applicable to the United Kingdom due to Brexit.

All this legislation has Fundamental elements.


(1) Copyright is a property right which subsists in accordance with this Part in the following descriptions of work

(a)original literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works,
(b)sound recordings, films [or broadcasts], and
(c)the typographical arrangement of published editions.

(2) In this Part “copyright work” means a work of any of those descriptions in which copyright subsists.
(3) Copyright does not subsist in a work unless the requirements of this Part with respect to qualification for copyright protection are met (see section 153 and the provisions referred to there).

(Source: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/part/I/chapter/I)


According to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 the following broad categories if items fall under copyright protection

1. Original work that falls in the artistic, literary or dramatic category.
2. Sound recordings, films or broadcasts and
3. Typographical arrangement of published editions.

(Source: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/part/I/chapter/I)

Thus, in basic terms, copyright can extensively cover such ordinary things, for example,

• Novels ,stories, poems , scripts, Articles
• Programmes, Databases, web and Mobile Applications
• logos , letters ,maps, plans
• Photographs, paintings, drawings
• Songs, Musical works (musical notations and compositions); films, Sound recordings; Broadcasts, Podcasts
• woodcuts, works of architecture, sculpture, craftsmanship

As you own your own copyright sometimes you may want to also use someone else’s protected work.

The following are exceptions to the law are:

Non-commercial research and private study – you can copy extracts of work for private study only. This allows students to learn and research. If there is any financial impact the owner must be notified accordingly and for non- commercial credit must be given to owner of the work. For Example, if you need to read a particular poem for exam and you print it out.

Text and data mining for non-commercial research – Simply put the for the sole purpose of computer analysis if the user have read right access to the work (permission) then an exception can apply. For Example, extracting an analysing data like number of poems from a particular author.

Criticism, review and reporting current events: There exists Fair dealing exception under criticism, review or quotation for the sole purpose of reporting current events (news) but this is not applicable to photographs. Any news media will require your permission to use your photographic work. For Example, if you produce a brilliant piece of work and a reporter reports on it in the news.

Teaching – The copying of works for teaching purposes, provided it is not for commercial use and it is not a licensed work is deemed acceptable. E.g., Use of your work by teachers to teach students.

Helping disabled people: This exception applies if you have mental or physical impairment that prevents you from accessing copyrighted material. For Example, if you buy a book and you need to convert it into braille to be able to use it this is deemed as an exception.

Time-shifting: This is when you record a copyrighted work for private or domestic enjoyment. For Example, when you record a TV programme so that you and your family can enjoy it later.

Parody, caricature, and pastiche: There is an exception that permits individuals to use small amount of copyright material for this purpose. For Example, A comedian can use a common line in a film or song for a line.

(Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exceptions-to-copyright)


As soon as you have created your work your copyright protection starts and once this lapses anyone can use your work.

According to the UK Government below is the length of time you can be protected under the copyright law.

Type of work How long copyright usually lasts
Written, dramatic, musical and artistic work 70 years after the author’s death
Sound and music recording 70 years from when it’s first published
Films 70 years after the death of the director, screenplay author and composer
Broadcasts 50 years from when it’s first broadcast
Layout of published editions of written, dramatic or musical works 25 years from when it’s first published

(Source: https://www.gov.uk/copyright/how-long-copyright-lasts)


Any individual or business that breaks the copyright law can face litigation. This sort of infringement can be treated as a civil offence and in extreme circumstances a criminal offence which carries a maximum fine of £50,000 and a jail time of up to 6 months. In the case this reaches a crown court fines can be unlimited and a maximum of 10 years.


According to the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. The individual or group people that made the work owns the copyright. This is termed the first owners right. If the work is produced as part of your job. For example. if you are working for a design house and creating company logo and content as part of your day job. Then your employer owns the copyright, or you are a photographer employed in a photo studio. On the other hand, freelance or commissioned work belongs to the creator. But the good news is that copyright can be transferrable and sold like every other asset.


If you have commissioned a freelancer to design a logo, brand identity of website for your business, it is advisable to ask for transfer of rights to you and register this work with us.

Copyright Cover have been designed to eradicate the dispute of ownership and mitigate copyright litigation. With the rise of the use of freelancers by small business owners. The owners of Copyright Cover have experienced first-hand how creators of corporate brand identity leverage this upon business success.

When you join us and register your work with us it would be stored in our Secure Vault and downloaded at any time. Our vault is not only secure, but also confidential, marked, and timestamped, insulating it against hostile actors. We also Free, internationally accepted digital copyright certificates and copyright protection logo.

The entire process is simple and easy and can be completed in 5 minutes.

What are you waiting For!