COPYRIGHT IN THE UK
Copyright gives the creators of original and published literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, sound recordings, films, videos and broadcasts rights to control ways their material can be used.
You cannot however copyright a name, title, slogan or phrase : if you want to protect any of these, you should register them as a trade mark. You also cannot copyright ideas.
These rights start as soon as the material is recorded in writing or in any other way. Copyright protection in the UK is automatic and there is no registration system. The author also has the right to be identified on their works and to object if their work is distorted or mutilated. Copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (including a photograph) lasts until 70 years after the death of the author. (In some other media, e.g. films, the calculation of duration of copyright is a little more complicated but this is not relevant for our purposes.)
Although a few countries require that a work be marked with the international © mark followed by the name of the copyright owner and year of publication, this is not a legal requirement in most countries, including the UK.
Marking the work with the name, date and copyright symbol could however prove useful should it be necessary to take a copyright dispute to law, and an email contact address will make it easier for anyone wishing to ask for permission to use material to contact the author or their representative.
Under UK law copyright material on the Internet is protected in the same way as material in any other media. Anyone wishing to put copyright material on the Internet or use material that others have placed on the Internet should therefore have the permission of the copyright owners of that material.
There are some exceptions to the rights given to the copyright owner. These include limited use of works for non-commercial research and private study, criticism or review, reporting current events, judicial proceedings and teaching in schools. If however you are copying large amounts of material and / or making multiple copies then you may still need permission. It is also necessary to include an acknowledgement of the name of the copyright work from which the extract is taken, and its author.
Information from the Patents Office : for a fuller explanation of copyright law,
see the UK Government's Intellectual Property website
All original materials on this website, particularly those produced specifically for BOGUK, are copyright © GuidingUK 2001-2012 and their individual authors, whose details are held by GuidingUK. All rights reserved. Inclusion on this website does not confer the status of Public Domain on any resources.