Copyright—authorship and ownership
Copyright—authorship and ownership

The following IP practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Copyright—authorship and ownership
  • Authorship
  • Authorship in primary and secondary works
  • Joint authorship
  • Co-authorship
  • Unknown authorship
  • Ownership
  • First owner
  • Presumptions as to works
  • Joint ownership
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for intellectual property?

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) defines the author of a work as the person who created it. The author as creator is not always the owner of a work, although it is usually the case that he is the first owner of copyright unless employed, in which case the employer is (see below).

The identity of the author of a work is relevant to many areas of copyright law. For example, the copyright term is usually measured by reference to the author's life; an author can claim moral rights; and copyright may not even subsist unless the author has the necessary qualifying status for protection.

It is also important to identify the owner of the copyright work, for example title and ownership should be established before purchasing or taking a licence of a work.


Authorship in primary and secondary

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