The Copyright, Design, and Patents Act 1988
The Copyright Act gives creators the rights to control the ways in which their material may be used. Copyright is awarded automatically. Something is created in the UK, the copyright automatically exists. It belongs to either the person creating the material or if that is their job, the company they work for.
It is an offence to do the following without the copyright owners consent:
- Copy the work.
- Rent, lend or issue copies of the work to the public.
- Perform, broadcast or show the work in public.
- Adapt the work.
You are allowed to use such material for private and research study, educational purposes, criticism and news reporting, parody, pastiche and caricature and (for comuter programs) back up for personal use. If you wish to use the material in any other circumstances you need to contact the copyright holder and get their permission. This permission will take the form of a license and you may (probably will) have to pay a fee. One form of licence which does not involve a fee is Creative Commons.
The Copyright act covers the following material - I have included how long the copyright lasts in brackets, the duration starts at the end of the calendar year.
- Literary - books, song lyrics, manuals, commerical documents, leaflets, newsletter and articles etc. The Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations (1992), added computer programs to the list of literary material. (70 years from death of author)
- Dramatic -plays, dance etc (70 years from authors death or first performance)
- Musical - recordings and scores (written music) (70 years from composers death or first performance)
- Artistic - photography, paintings, sculptures, arhcitecture, technical drawings and diagrams, maps, logos (70 years from artists death)
- Typographical arrangement of published editions - magazines, periodicals etc (25 years from first published)
- Sound Recordings (50 years from its creation or 70 years from first release (as in a record release))
- Film - video footage, films (obviously) broadcasts and cable programmes (on demand services like netflix) (Film - 70 years from last authors , directors, composers death or first release - Broadcast etc (50 years from first broadcast))