Question #3: How do I copyright my work? Is there a formal procedure?
There is no formal registration procedure for copyright; as long as your work qualifies for copyright by being original, it obtains protection as soon as it is in a permanent or fixed form. In UK law, originality is defined as using your own skill, labour, judgement and effort. In other words, what this means is that the work must not be copied from another work; it should originate from the author.
There are steps which you might take to help protect your copyright, should it ever be disputed. For example, you could send it to yourself by special delivery post and leave it sealed. With some types of work – such as scripts and photos – it can be sufficient to send it to yourself by email. There are also copyright registration services available for a fee, which act as similar evidence. However, nowadays this is not as relevant as it used to be, since with computer records the dating of production is almost always possible.
Copyright is a set of ‘exclusive’ rights, giving creators the right to control the use of their work and the ability to earn from it. The term ‘exclusive’ in copyright law means…
Going for a Song tells the story of Tina and Ben, a music composer and a lyricist who create an original song and discuss how to market it.
Copyright Bite #2 explores how copyright protects only the expression of ideas and not ideas themselves.