Copyright is the method of protecting original recorded materials, giving the owner (the author) the sole right to use, reproduce, or license others to use, the work.
It can protect a host of created work including, words, images, music, dance and software.
Copyright is a type of intellectual property which protects the form of expression of ideas, rather than the ideas themselves. Copyright will only protect something that has been recorded in some way. It intends to reward the creative process of an author in original works.
Ownership of copyright can present challenges for businesses. Typically (and subject to an agreement to the contrary) if an employee creates an original work (words, drawings, images, computer code or written processes) during the course of their employment, then the employer owns the copyright.
If the author or creator is a consultant, or someone working under a service contract for the business, there is less clarity on copyright ownership and in this event Else Solicitors will study the agreements between the business and the consultant or third party.
If you commission a third party to create work on your behalf it is important to have a specific agreement detailing ownership of the work done.
How we can help
Our team can help make sense of the grey areas around copyright. We can provide advice and guidance in respect of whether copyright exists in the works, how protection is afforded under the law, and ultimately advise how best protect the work you have invested in.
Our team can draft agreements to help businesses get the best return on their creativity and innovation by helping them to licence, sell or assign the copyright in their work.
We can also advise as to what amounts to copying of the works and if there is an infringement of your copyright, we can advise and help you to take the appropriate action. With experience in mediation and negotiation we can take steps to reach a settlement without the time and expense of court action. If necessary, Else Solicitors have an experienced litigation team to advise on how to protect your business assets.
Else Solicitors can also provide advice, guidance and assistance in the areas of trade marks, design rights and patents which can complement copyright protection.
To speak to a solicitor who specialises in copyrights, please contact the corporate and commercial team on 01283 526200, alternatively you can send us a message and we will get in touch at a time that suits you.