Legal notes to copyright registration in England

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Copyright registration in England. England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. England’s economy is one of the largest and most dynamic in the world, with an average GDP per capita of £28,100. Usually regarded as a mixed market economy, it has adopted many free-market principles, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure. The economy of England is the largest part of the UK’s economy, which has the 18th highest GDP PPP per capita in the world. Accordingly, many businesses want to enter this market and one of the most important preparations a business needs to take before expanding to this country is to learn the procedure of copyright registration in England.

Copyright in England

Unlike other intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents, industrial designs, plant varieties, etc., copyright does not need to be registered for protection but will be automatically protected from the time the works are created.

The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.

Accordingly, whether registered or not, the copyright to the work will still be protected. However, copyright registration is still advised because early registration will give the author/owner of the work many advantages in the event of a dispute.

When unauthorized use of work occurs around the world, the owner of a work who has registered copyright in advance will not have to waste time and complicate matters with proving himself/herself to be the legitimate owner of the work.

Thereby, in order to avoid passivity, the owner of the work should make a copyright registration to protect their rights and interests when there is an infringement.

Copyright registration in England

England (The United Kingdom) is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1887.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the Berne Convention) is an international agreement governing copyright. The agreement was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.

As England is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in England will be given the same copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries. The original from England can be that the work is made and published for the first time in this country or if the author of the work is of England ethnicity.

While in most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form, copyright registration in England is critical in order for the copyright owner to obtain evidence of copyright.

Evidence of copyright is extremely important even when copyright is obtained automatically.

When registering, the creation gets a date and a time stamp recorded, as well as information about the creation and proof of creative concept and development. This provides unambiguous proof of authorship and ownership that can’t be denied.

Proof of copyright is essential in an age when the publishing, dissemination, and theft of material is extremely easy with the exposure of the Internet.

If copyright registration is not made, copyright owners will lose a significant big amount of money and time attempting to fight copyright issues and prove ownership of the original work.

If the copyright owner has already registered for copyright protection to the IP office, they would have a strong legal foundation which would increase their chance of winning against the violating parties.

Documents for copyright registration in England

To obtain copyright registration in England, the author of the work needs to prepare the following documents:

  • Declaration of copyright registration in England;
  • Two copies of copyrighted work;
  • Documents proving the right to apply;
  • Written consent of co-authors, if the work has co-authors;
  • Written consent of the co-owners, if the copyright is jointly owned;
  • Notarized identity card of the author or owner of the work;
  • Power of Attorney, if the applicant is an authorized person;
  • Notarized copy of the company’s business registration certificate (if the owner is a company).

The copyright law of England

Copyright law is governed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (the 1988 Act), as amended from time to time. This Act came into force on 1 August 1989, save for some minor provisions. Various amendments have been made to the original statute, mostly originating from the Copyright law of the European Union and related case law.

On 12 September 2018, the European Parliament approved new copyright rules to help secure the rights of writers and musicians. However, as Brexit, the details and impacts of the changes to copyright in EU are left to be reclassified.

Copyright protection in Britain dates back to the 1556 Charter of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers. The Licensing of the Press Act 1662 gave publishers exclusive printing rights, but did not give any rights to authors. Parliament failed to renew the Act in 1694, primarily to remove monopoly and encourage a free press.

The modern concept of copyright originated in Great Britain, in the year 1710, with the Statute of Anne. This Act prescribed a copyright term of fourteen years, and let the author renew for another fourteen years, after which the work went into the public domain.

Over the years, additional acts and case law steadily refined the definitions of what could be protected, including derivative works, and the degree of protection given. Copyright law is now governed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

You can see a list of England IP firms here.

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