Respect the value of music, movies and software by buying only from legitimate sources
Legislation in this area aims to balance the rights of copyright holders with the interests of the public who wish to have access to, and use, copyright material. The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act defines copyright as a property right which can be licensed, given away or assigned (i.e. sold) to someone else, permanently or for a limited period. There are exceptions which allow some limited use of copyright works without infringement (see BIF 218 Copyright).
Length of copyright is covered in BIF 218 Copyright. Music arrangers have copyright in their arrangements, whether the original work being arranged is in copyright or in the `Public Domain'. Before an arrangement of a copyright work can be exploited, permission from the copyright owner of the original work must be obtained.
The licensing of new technologies (e.g. online services) is constantly being developed. Under UK law, material stored on web servers or sent over the Internet is protected by copyright and generally will be protected in the same way as material in other media. The New Technologies Division should be contacted for advice in this area.
Copyright exists in music and separate copyright exists in any lyrics. If sound recordings of music are made, the permission of right(s) owners for any music and lyrics involved is needed. Producers of sound recordings also have copyright in the sound recording and there is also separate copyright in any film including music. If broadcasters wish to use sound recordings, they need permission from the producers and composers Performers have rights similar to copyright in their live performances or recordings of their performances.
If you have the copyright to a composition, its arrangement or a recording, you have a certain rights under the 1988 act.
(These rights are limited, so seek legal advice. they do not apply to producers of sound recordings)
Restricted acts. You may (or may authorise others to)
In practice, some of these rights (or their administration) are usually assigned to others (e.g. licensing agencies) by the holder of the copyright, although there is no obligation to do this. Copyright is generally infringed by anyone who undertakes a restricted act in respect of a copyright work without authorisation
The PRS deals with the administration of copyright owned by composers and music publishers.
It issues blanket licence's to music users, broadcasters, etc to use any copyright music which the Society controls. Without these, if you want to play or perform copyright music in public you must get the permission of each copyright owner.
The PRS works on behalf of composers, songwriters or music publishers. Royalties are distributed as far as possible in accordance with the extent of a composer's work performed in public. By joining, you assign to the PRS the rights to: perform your works in public; broadcast them, or use them in cable programme's.
The PPL represents the recording industry, issuing two kinds of licence's:
The MPA issues its own Code of Fair Practice, agreed between composers, publishers and users of printed music.The Association has agreed with members to allow music copying in some circumstances.
These "permissions" include:
There are also `prohibitions', including:
Copyright disagreements can go to arbitration. If you are unsure about the identity or whereabouts of a copyright owner, consult the MPA for help and for further information.
The copyright in a sound recording is separate and distinct from the copyright that exists in the original musical composition. MCPS represents thousands of music composers and publishers (i.e. music copyright owners) in the UK and throughout the world. They license anyone wanting to make recordings of its members' musical works, collecting and distributing to them any royalties earned.
UK legislation is based on the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which defined copyright as a property right which can be given away, licensed or sold. The following are the main pieces of legislation that add to the scope and detail of the 1988 Act: There is no copyright protection for ideas or concepts as such. It is only when those ideas are expressed in a form from which they can be reproduced or copied i.e. as a literary work, that they are afforded copyright protection. The term literary work means any work, other than a dramatic or musical work, which is written, spoken or sung, and includes tables or compilations, computer programs and databases. “Original” means that the work originates with the author. It is their own creation: not copied, but the result of exercising independent or collaborative talent, skill and creativeness.
Copyright protects the works of creators (artists, composers, writers and producers, e.g., publishers, broadcasters, film and record producers). It covers original literary, dramatic or artistic works, sound recordings, films, broadcasts, cable programme's and the typographical arrangement of published editions. Artistic works encompasses sculpture, collage, photographs, graphic work, building or models of buildings in architecture and work of artistic craftsmanship.
Computer programs are protected as literary works. This protection includes storage in a computer, transient and permanent copies so that unauthorised loading and downloading generally infringes copyright. A database which by reason of the selection and arrangement of the contents constitutes the author's own intellectual creation is protected as a literary work. Where there has been substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting the contents of a database, database right applies.
In organisations where employees produce copyright material in the normal course of their job, copyright is owned by the employer. If a third party produces work for the company (e.g. a freelance draftsman), copyright belongs to the third party unless a written assignment of copyright is agreed. If copyright is infringed only the person holding or having been assigned the copyright can launch proceedings. A solicitor can provide a sample of a written assignment.
Industrially produced articles are generally protected by unregistered design right, not copyright. If an industrial design is commissioned (e.g. a product of which more than 50 are to be made) the employer owns the unregistered design right unless he/she has signed a contract giving it away.
Where copyright had expired before 31 December 1995, it may have been revived for any remaining part of new longer terms (e.g. copyright in literary works was formerly life plus 50 years), but such works are then subject to use as of right subject to reasonable royalty.
Fair dealing is a concept which allows some unlicensed copying and other use without infringing copyright. The economic impact of the use on the copyright owner is an important factor which the courts consider when deciding whether use is fair dealing.
Fair dealing aside, permission to copy (e.g. in the form of a licence) is usually needed. This can be obtained from: individual rights holders; organisations of authors, composers and publishers acting collectively to offer blanket licence's; and specialist copyright clearance firms. Major issuers of copyright licence's include:
If an organisation needs to exceed the limits of their licence, the CLA Rapid Clearance Service (CLARCS), generally allows payment case by case. CLARCS may also need to be used if the material is to be used in a mail shot or if the copy will be on a non-paper substance, e.g. acetate. The CLA's Licensed Works include all books, periodicals, and journals published in the UK, and other countries where a reciprocal agreement exists. However, there are exceptions including: works on the Excluded Works List; newspapers; maps, charts or books of tables; printed music (including words); public examination papers; workbooks, work cards or assignment sheets; industrial house journals and works published overseas where there is no agreement.
The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) - Licenses the photocopying of newspapers. The British Library Document Supply Canter - operates a Copyright Cleared service. You pay for a form, plus a flat rate fee (currently £3.1 i per copy) which is passed on to the CIA. The service has some advantages over a standard CLA licence.
The Performing Right Society (PRS) - issues licence's and distributes fees on behalf of music copyright holders. Those who need a licence include anyone playing or performing music in public (even if it is just a radio in a shop or factory).
The Music Publishers' Association Limited -issues its own Code of Fair Practice agreed between composers, publishers and users of printed music. It covers music from this country, if the copyright owner's name is listed in its code appendix.
Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) - anyone wanting to record copyright musical works should contact the MCPS, which licenses the recording of copyright music.
Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) - issues licence's for the public performance or broadcasting of sound recordings. Generally, any business which plays recorded music should have a PPL licence.
Video Performance Ltd - issues licence's for the public performance of video recordings.
Where users or prospective users of copyright works which are licensed collectively are dissatisfied with the terms or conditions of licence's or licensing schemes operated by collective licensing bodies, they can apply to the Copyright Tribunal for independent adjudication on the matter.