The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988


The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, is the current UK copyright law. It gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the right to control the ways in which their material may be used. The rights cover: Broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public. In many cases, the creator will also have the right to be identified as the author and to object to distortions of his work.


Copyright arises when an individual or organisation creates a work, and applies to a work if it is regarded as original, and exhibits a degree of labour, skill or judgement.


Interpretation is related to the independent creation rather than the idea behind the creation. For example, your idea for a book would not itself be protected, but the actual content of a book you write would be. In other words, someone else is still entitled to write their own book around the same idea, provided they do not directly copy or adapt yours to do so.


Names, titles, short phrases and colours are not generally considered unique or substantial enough to be covered, but a creation, such as a logo, that combines these elements may be.


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  4. What is Copyright?