What is copyright?
Copyright protects original works and gives creators the economic right to control the way their material is used. It also gives moral rights to be identified as the creators of certain kinds of material.
What is protected by copyright?
Original works such as literary, film and art. You can find the extended list on the Intellectual Property Office website.
What is the difference between an idea and copyright?
A work can be copyright but the idea behind it cannot. For example, someone writing a John Grisham-style legal thriller. The book (the work) resulting from the John Grisham idea is protected, but the John Grisham style (the idea) is not.
How do I get copyright protection?
There isn’t an official way of registering copyright in the UK. Copyright protection is automatically granted as soon as the material is recorded in writing or any other way. There are two ways of doing this:
- Post your work to yourself and, when it arrives, leave it unopened
- Certify your work with the international copyright symbol (c) followed by your name and the year of publication. For example, ©Abidemi Sanusi 2018.
What is the difference between moral rights and copyright?
In a nutshell, moral rights protect the reputation of authors. It is not uncommon for books to have the following declaration: Abidemi Sanusi has asserted the moral right to be identified as the author of this book.
Copyright protects the economic rights of the author of a work.
What about the internet?
In the UK, copyright material sent over the internet will generally be protected in the same way as material in other media. However, you can still protect your economic interests by taking the steps mentioned above (see How do I get copyright protection?). You should also state the extent to which you’re content for people to use your copyright material without your permission (check out the Creative Commons website for help with this).
What’s the difference between a trademark and a copyright?
A trademark distinguishes the goods/services of one trader from another. To be registrable in the UK, it must also be capable of being represented graphically. That is, in words and/or pictures. However, logos may be protected under copyright as artistic works, so many trademarks may also be copyright works.
I am a writer. How much should I charge for people to use my copyrighted stuff?
It is entirely up to you. The better question(s) is: what is the value that you attach to your work and how much do you think it’s worth?