copyright

COPYRIGHT

Copyright protects the expression of ideas in tangible forms, including works like novels or computer programmes. Read on to find out more about copyright.

What is Copyright?

Copyright protects the expression of ideas in tangible forms. When you own the copyright to a work, you control the use and commercial exploitation of these works. This means that you have the right to prevent others from reproducing, publishing, performing, communicating to the public, or adapting your work. 

The © Symbol

The copyright or © symbol is merely a notice by the owner that copyright exists. The presence of the symbol does not give the copyright owner any additional rights; the absence of the symbol does not mean that the copyright owner has waived his rights.

In practice, the symbol is usually followed by the year when a copy of the work was first made available and the name of the copyright owner.

Here are some examples of works that may be protected under copyright law:

Literary Works

  • Written works e.g. poems, lyrics, source codes

Dramatic Works

  • Scripts for films

  • Scripts for stage plays

  • Choreography

Musical Works

  • Melodies

Artistic Works

  • Drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, engravings*

  • Buildings or models of buildings*

  • Works of artistic craftsmanship

* regardless of artistic merit

Additionally, films, sound recordings, television and radio broadcasts, cable programmes and performances are also protected by copyright.

The duration varies according to the type of copyright work you own.

Literary, Dramatic, Musical and Artistic Works

70 years from the end of the year in which the creator died. Specifically, for photographs, or if the work is published after the death of the author, the copyright lasts for 70 years, from the end of the year in which the work was first published.

Published Editions of Literary, Dramatic, Musical and Artistic Works

25 years from the end of the year in which the edition was first published.


Sound Recordings

70 years from the end of the year in which the sound recording is first published.


Broadcasts and Cable Programmes

50 years from the end of the year of making the broadcast or cable programme.

Performances

70 years from the end of the year of the performance.

Copyright Owners

Infringement & Enforcement

Actions to take against copyright infringement

Copyright Resources

Access useful information and links on copyright

Copyright Tribunal

Forum for licensing disputes between collective management organisations and users

Copyright FAQs