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What questions should I be asking about Copyright?

What is Copyright?

Copyright is an automatic legal right that arises whenever a company or individual creates a piece of work.

It is governed by the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 (CPDA 1988). Under this law, any form of original content created by someone is considered as your own intellectual property. This provision seeks to prevent people from using someone’s work without permission by giving the owner of the intellectual property exclusive rights.

What is protected by Copyright?

Copyright under CDPA 1988 section 1 covers:

  • original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works.

  • sound recordings, films [or broadcasts], and

  • the typographical arrangement of published editions

Copyright law gives the creator special protective rights over their original work by prohibiting unauthorised actions. This means that the author of the original work can take legal action against anyone who breaches their copyright.

How does Copyright protect your work?

For a piece of work to be protected by copyright, it needs to be considered ‘original’. The law automatically protects the physical expression of ideas and does not require any registration of the work to be protected as copyright is protected from the moment it is created.

The author has exclusive rights over their intellectual property. This includes the right to decide under which circumstances their work may be used.

Copyright does not only prevent people from copying their work without acknowledgement or permission, but also prevents the distribution of copies, variations of the authors work and putting it on the internet without the authors permission or acknowledgement of the source. Therefore, where there is infringement of copyright, the owner is entitled to take legal action against them.

What happens if there is a breach of Copyright?

A breach of copyright occurs when the copyright owner’s exclusive rights have been infringed.

In cases where there is a breach of copyright, the copyright owner has the right to seek legal advice and write a “cease and desist” letter to the individual who is in breach.

The significance of a “cease and desist” letter is a warning to immediately put a stop to the unlawful copyright violation and any such copyright breach.

Do not ignore a “cease and desist” letter!

What remedies are available?

Where there is an infringement of copyright, there are remedies that are available to you.

The remedies for infringement include interim and final injunctions, damages or an account of profits, interest, delivery up, destruction and seizure of the infringing items, declaratory relief, costs and other relief.

How Pure Business Law can help?

We are specialist IP solicitors based in Bedford and London.

If someone has infringed your copyrights, do not panic! As intellectual property specialists we will protect your intellectual property rights and resolve any disputes which may arise concerning your copyright. Please contact Pure Business Law where we will provide you with expert advice on IP claims.

Pure Business Law is regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority and is a licensed member of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Please note: This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice.

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