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Know your Rights

Your rights and how to protect them

Copyright, as its name suggests, is the right to copy and the right to prevent any other person from copying, your creative piece of work (legally known as Intellectual Property or IP).

Ideas do not fall under the domain of copyright, only original works which are expressions of ideas.

People sometimes talk, confusingly, of ‘copyrighting their work’ but in the UK there is no government organised copyright registration or similar process. For Trademarks see the next section in this resource.

Copyright is an automatic right and is owned by the person who created the work, except when that person does so as an employee - in which case the right will generally belong to the employer.

Contrary to popular misconception, if a person is paid to create a copyright work as a freelancer, then the copyright in that work will belong to the freelancer and not the person paying for it. In these circumstances the only way to change ownership of the copyright in the work outright, is to it agree it in writing, signed by all the parties (an assignment).