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Copyright is a wide ranging area of law that deals with the arts, photography, film and video, writing, building design and software. It is a diverse area of law spanning the globe and we can help you pick your way through these areas, identify what you have and how you can use it and, more importantly, how you can stop others from doing so.

How we can help you

Copyright is a right which arises automatically and gives the owner the right to prevent the copying of the work created. Copyright covers a wide range of areas of both personal and commercial life.  It reaches into the world of art as well as the IT sector.  It applies equally to sculptures as it applies to architects work as it applies to the written word and the broadcast image.  Basically it is a bundle of rights covering a wide area.

Scope of copyright

The legal definitions cover the following areas:
  • original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
  • sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programmes
  • typographical arrangement of published editions
The areas they cover are very broad. For instance an artistic work covers the following areas:
  • a graphic work, photograph, sculpture or collage, irrespective of artistic quality
  • a work of architecture being a building or a model for a building or
  • a work of artistic craftsmanship

How do I copyright something?

You don’t.  The rights arise automatically as long as your work fits the relevant test.  So if you have, say, a literary work then Copyright will arise in the work as long as:
  • The work is recorded, in permanent form or otherwise.
  • The work is Original, that is to say it has not been done before.

So that’s it then?

Well yes.  The issue comes when you have to prove that you created the work in question and when you did it.  You may have heard of people posting things to themselves.  Well the reason they do that is so that they can have a postmark on the envelope, which gives a date.  The alternatives are to create your own “design book” or database or deposit a copy of your work with a third party such as your solicitor or an organisation such as A©ID.
Our People

Kelly Hudson

Kelly graduated from Northumbria University with a first class honours degree in Law. She joined McDaniels Law in 2008 as a Trainee Solicitor and remained with the firm following qualification. She is now a Director specialising in Intellectual Property and is responsible for the overall management of the firm.

0191 499 8471
07539 009 031

Watch our video on copyright

What do I do next?

Speak to one of our design experts, Niall Head-Rapson or Kelly Hudson – email legal@mcdanielslaw.com or call +44 (0) 191 281 4000.