Copyright in the UK
A brief summary of copyright law in the UK
The Statute of Anne (1710) was the first law on copyright in the UK. In recent times, its continued influence on regulations in the early 21st century have been addressed.
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is the main statute that governs copyright law in the UK.
On 1 June 2014, this was amended by the following regulations
Guidance on further changes implemented on 1 October 2014 has been created by the Intellectual Property Office and can be found at:
These include a new exception to copyright for parody caricature, pastiche and improvements to rules on how you can use quotations was implemented. This allows the limited use of copyright material without the permission of the copyright holder, but only to the extent that the use is fair and proportionate.
The changes allow much more freedom in copyright law for third parties to use copyright works for a variety of economically and/or socially valuable purposes, without the need to seek permission from copyright owners. At the same time, the changes are also supposed to protect the interests of copyright owners.
An unofficial consolidation of the Act and recent changes can be found in an illustrative revised draft of the law deposited in the libraries of the Houses of Parliament. See illustrative draft of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (PDF, 2.94MB, 319 pages)
Exemptions to copyright protection relate to the following categories
This is a useful official publication
Back to COPYRIGHT menu
Official website: UK Intellectual Property Office
Copyright advice from the UK government via the UK Intellectual Property Office
Scope of copyright
Copyright registers and registration
Ownership and Orphan works
Intellectual Property Office: RSS Feed
Copyright in Plain English
WARNING - NONE of the non-official sites which provide basic guidance on copyright appear to have been updated for the recent changes
The Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) entitles creators (‘authors’) of original works of art (including paintings, engravings, sculpture and ceramics) to a royalty each time one of their works is resold through an auction house or art market professional. The right to this royalty lasts for the same period as copyright, so since January 2012 ARR has applied to qualifying works by artists who have been dead for less than 70 years.
Two organisations were set up in the UK in 2006 to help administer the royalties associated with the recently introduced Artists' Resale Right. In general I have to say I'm much more impressed by the DACs website when compared to the ACS website - but I can't comment on the services they offer.
The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS)
DACS is a not-for-profit visual arts rights management organisation. DACS campaigns for the rights of visual artists and pays them royalties that help sustain their practice and livelihood.
The Artists Collecting Society (ACS)
The Artists' Collecting Society (ACS) was set up in 2006 as a not-for-profit company dedicated to the administration of the Artist's Resale Right. It's a one-stop-shop for rights licensing and copyright and ARR management.
Copyright: Other relevant organisations