Q&As

Where the songwriter of an original musical composition assigns the copyright in that work in writing to an assignee (eg a music publisher) but by the same document requires consent for certain forms of exploitation by the assignee, has the songwriter fully assigned the copyright in that composition or have they only made a partial assignment of the copyright in that work under section 90(2)(a) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988?

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Published on LexisPSL on 18/06/2020

The following IP Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where the songwriter of an original musical composition assigns the copyright in that work in writing to an assignee (eg a music publisher) but by the same document requires consent for certain forms of exploitation by the assignee, has the songwriter fully assigned the copyright in that composition or have they only made a partial assignment of the copyright in that work under section 90(2)(a) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988?
  • Partial or total assignment
  • Whether assignment or licence

Where the songwriter of an original musical composition assigns the copyright in that work in writing to an assignee (eg a music publisher) but by the same document requires consent for certain forms of exploitation by the assignee, has the songwriter fully assigned the copyright in that composition or have they only made a partial assignment of the copyright in that work under section 90(2)(a) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988?

A copyright assignment must be in writing and signed by or on behalf of the assignor. It is possible to assign rights in specific works, or even to assign specific rights in specific works, for example, to issue mechanical licences but not synchronisation licences.

Partial or total assignment

An assignment or other transmission of copyright can be partial. Partial has two meanings. First, it can apply to one or more (but not all) of the ‘things’ the copyright owner has the exclusive right to do. Secondly, it applies to part but not the whole of the copyright period. Note, in section 90(2) of the

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