What Steps Can I Take to Protect my Copyright?

March 25, 2022

 

By Emily Shingler

Copyright protects your work and prevents others from using it, without your consent. Also, copyright protection arises automatically – you do not have to apply for or register it.

Copyright will protect a variety of different types of commercially valuable works including such things as software code, illustrations, photography, the layout of written works and also sound and music recordings.

It is possible to mark your work with the copyright symbol (©), which signifies that copyright is being claimed. However, just by using that symbol does not in itself create legal rights or guarantee protection. Also, you will not have any less protection if you do not use the mark.

In addition to marking your work, there are other steps that you can take to protect your copyright. These include registering it with a private database and also keeping evidence of its creation. In addition, if you are working with a third party on the creation of the work, you should ensure that you have an agreement with them in relation to copyright ownership as between you. 

The existence of copyright prevents other people from:

·        Copying it for their own use

·        Publishing it on the internet

·        Distributing copies of your work, whether or not for free

·        Performing your work in public

·        Adapting your work in some way

If you think that someone else is using your work then you may well have legal rights that you can exercise to protect it. These include applying to the court for an order (injunction) to stop someone using your work and also claiming damages and legal costs from them.

In the first instance it is wise to seek advice from a lawyer experienced in this area before embarking on any legal action. Copyright infringement cases can be complicated and expensive – you should ensure that you are on solid ground legally before contemplating bringing legal proceedings against a third party.

Copyright protection starts as soon as your work has been created. The length of time that it lasts depends on the type of work. For example, copyright protection for written work lasts for 70 years from the author’s death and in the case of broadcasts, the protection lasts for 50 years from the date of the first broadcast.

You may wish to exploit your copyright commercially, by licencing its use to a third party. By using a properly drafted licence agreement you can retain a significant degree of control over the use of your copyright.

Examples of licencing copyright include the performance of artistic works, the publication of literary works and also the use of copyright in a commercial context, such as through a franchise network.

You can also sell your copyright or transfer its ownership. If you have particularly valuable copyright which is used in the context of a trading business, you may wish to consider sheltering its ownership in a holding company and then licencing its use back to your trading company. This would enable you to exploit the copyright whilst at the same time protect it from commercial risk.

If you require any advice on copyright or other intellectual property issues including a full audit of the intellectual property rights within your business, please contact Emily Shingler via email at eshingler@darwingray.com, or call on 029 2082 9102 for a free, no obligation, conversation.

 

 

Contact Our Team
Catherine Burke
Partner
View Profile
Damian Phillips
Partner
View Profile
Fflur Jones
Managing Partner
View Profile
Gareth Wedge
Partner
View Profile
Mark Rostron
Partner
View Profile
Nick O’Sullivan
Partner
View Profile
Owen John
Partner
View Profile
Rhodri Lewis
Partner
View Profile
Stephen Thompson
Partner
View Profile

I have worked with Darwin Gray for a number of years and the level of service, professionalism and timely response is second to none. I would highly recommend Darwin Gray to any business.”

Becs Beslee, Dice FM Ltd

Darwin Gray have provided us with a first-class service for many years now. They really take the time to understand our business and develop relationships which results in advice and support that is contextualised and effective.”

Rebecca Cooper, ACT Training

We have worked with Darwin Gray for several years and have always found their services and advice to be first class.”

Karen Gale, Stepping Stones Group

An extremely professional and sincere company who make time for your queries and understand the need to break down certain facts and information to ensure everything is understood perfectly. I would highly recommend the company to anyone looking for any type of legal advice”

Gwawr Booth, Portal Training Ltd

PSS has worked with Darwin Gray for many years. We have always received an excellent service. Prompt and professional advice and support.”

Ledia Shabani, Property Support Services UK Ltd

We have used several departments within DG recently and we have been very pleased with an effective, efficient and down to earth service. Very happy thus far and I expect that we will continue to use DG.”

Guto Bebb, Farmers’ Union of Wales

Darwin Gray offer us truly superb services. Very professional, quick and services available bilingually which is very important to us, highly recommend.”

Iwan Hywel, Mentrau Iaith Cymru

My “go to” in urgent and time sensitive cases for direction, support and advice. The team are quick to respond to calls or emails for advice and support on all matters. Always explain complex matters in a way a lay person can easily understand.”

Margot Adams, Guarding UK Ltd