Copyright ownership primarily rests with the creator/author.
There are exceptions in law, and ownership can also be transferred, sold or waived.
DO YOU OWN THE COPYRIGHT ?
EXCEPTIONS in LAW
Where something has been created in the normal course of employment i.e. part of expected duties, the copyright belongs to the employer unless otherwise agreed/contracted. CDPA 1988 s11(2) e.g.
includes a Copyright Policy in the Staff Handbooks which clarifies the copyright position of work produced by staff (see http://www.intra.mdx.ac.uk/services/HR/docs/achbook.pdf) Middlesex University
Typographical /Publishers Copyright:
In published works, the publisher owns the Copyright in the typographical arrangement of the published edition, which lasts for 25 years from the end of year of first publication (CDPA 1988 s9(2d)).
International Organisations: e.g. Crown Copyright owned by the Queen
(see the National Archives website)
- the funding body could claim ownership as they are financing the project.
- the University could potentially claim ownership for providing the staff and/or facilities.
- the researcher/s could own the copyright if not employed specifically for the project by the University or funding body.
- A joint copyright exist between all the above in which case, permission would be required from all involved before further use of the work can be made e.g. publication
Publishing: Copyright can be assigned to another party by formal contract or agreement e.g. publisher agreements usually require the author to assign all rights to the publisher prior to publication.
When signing publisher agreements it is advisable that you formally retain the right for you and your institution to use your work freely for any educational purpose, otherwise permission must be sought for all subsequent uses.
Research: Several parties may have a claim on the Copyright of a research project.
Therefore, to avoid disputes at a later stage, it is adviseable to clarify and reach an agreement on the copyright ownership with all parties involved at the start of a project.
NB: CONTRACT LAW OVERIDES COPYRIGHT LAW
Formal transfer of rights via donation or inheritance.
Copyright owners may waive some or all rights by formal statement i.e. either by lifting restrictions for certain uses e.g. republication or multiple copying and distribution for teaching or allowing any use, otherwise known as placing into the 'Public Domain' if ALL rights are waived.
WHAT ABOUT MORAL RIGHTS?
Moral rights unlike Copyright cannot be sold or transferred but must be asserted unless they are to be waived.
There are 3 main moral rights:
· to be identified as the author/creator (Paternity Right)
· to object to derogatory treatment
· not to be falsely attributed
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
Assert your Rights: Always assert your rights by putting your name to your work, identifying you as the author/creator. Copyright automatically subsists the moment a work is created in tangible form but Moral Rights need to be asserted.
Permissions: As Copyright owner, if you wish to lift certain restrictions in Copyright Law e.g. copying for teaching/instruction or any educational purpose, you must state this.
Licences: If you wish to retain control over who does what, when and how, you may licence particular uses for specified periods of time to individuals/organisations.
Creative Commons: Licensing scheme introduced in the
However these licences are unsuitable where third party rights are involved.
Public Domain: This terms normally applies to work for which the copyright protection period has expired e.g. 70 years after the death of the creator.
Waiving all rights: Places material in the 'Public Domain'. This means that anyone can do absolutely anything with your work, including copying, adapting or even republishing, for whatever purpose.
of ownership: In order to prove that you are the original creator/author
of a newly created work, in the event of a dispute, it has been
suggested a copy of the material is mailed to yourself or someone
in a position of trust, but not opened when the package arrives. The Post Office
postmark will act as proof of when the material was first created.
Any official date stamp e.g. a bank stamp would serve the same purpose
if the material is in a sealed package and remains sealed until
presented as proof, as required. Material
can also be placed in a safe deposit box or with a solicitor, provided
that an official log is kept of the deposit and any subsequent access.
Material can also be placed in a safe deposit box or with a solicitor, provided that an official log is kept of the deposit and any subsequent