The copyright provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 protect three categories of work1. The first grouping, 'original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works' includes the classic types of authors' works which have longest enjoyed copyright protection. The works must be original and exist in a material form before copyright may subsist.
The second category of works comprises sound recordings, films and broadcasts. Whilst sound recordings and films are embodied in a tangible form capable of permanent existence, broadcasts exist only in evanescent form. To protect repeat broadcasts, they are given copyright which endures as long as that in the original.
The third category of work, the typographical arrangement of a published edition, protects publishers rather than authors.
Ownership and duration of copyright
Prima facie the author is the first owner of copyright, although where a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or a film is made by an employee in the course of his or her employment, copyright generally belongs to the employer2. It is possible to make a prospective assignment of copyright, so that copyright vests in the