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UK COPYRIGHT LAW

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UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:47 am

The link below is to a site that has detailed information on all aspects of copyright law in the UK -- including how it relates to musical applications.

www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby Lee - Lucky 6 Music » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:58 pm

Thanks Hugh

Was asked about UK copyright not so long ago. Despite knowing about all the ins and outs I found it difficult to explain and find a place to start!

This link will prove useful for the future. I shall take a note of it :)
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby Atomic Studios London » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:23 pm

I highly recommend this book that focuses on the British common music publishing and record deals.

Music: The Business: The Essential Guide to the Law and the Deals by Ann Harrison
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby hejog » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:37 am

The simplest and least expensive way I know to protect your work is what is called a 'safe custody' service offered by your local bank. Before sending anything anywhere, lodge a copy - manuscript, CD or whatever - with the bank. Any infringement can then be easily proved.

http://tinyurl.com/5s5l7rv (NatWest)

(click on the 'rates and charges' tab, then scroll to the bottom of the page)
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby mhelmo » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:30 am

Don't know if it would hold up in UK, but in the states we can mail a copy of the cd to ourselves to establish date of creation (postmark), just don't open the envelope.... Obviously, this would be before sending it to a copyright office...
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby Tony Raven » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:52 am

Apologies for rudeness, but not true. That's also a common myth with hopeful writers.

Written materials are easy to "lock down," even as applies to invention of devices: a well-kept notebook, each page stamped & dated by a CPA. This played a major role in supporting claims by the inventors of the microprocessor chip & the laser.

But I can show you how to open just about any envelope & reclose it without leaving a mark.

Registration isn't particularly onerous, or expensive. And if someone develops something similar, with no clear access to the "original" product, then whoever makes the registration first has a strong claim.

If the plaintiff has never registered or published the piece, or even offered it around, then the chances of winning a claim quickly approach zero.

As a well-known author once told me, make something worth stealing, then get it out there. It's the best protection of your IP that you could have.
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby PacoCro » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:13 pm

Here in Croatia we have no laws in that point :)
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:52 pm

I just spotted this and it's good to have a basic grasp of copyright laws whatever
you are up to in the music industry. Good knowledge.

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The Kitchen Factory

Postby The Kitchen Factory » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:37 am

I am a real dik. I spam forums because I really have little else to do in my life. Please help me by banning me. Thanks.
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby Ben Linus » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:14 pm

the copyright are so confusing..but one rule is for sure: if u dont sell it nobody will care!!!
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby SilkLink » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:45 pm

I don't think copyright law is confusing. I think lots of people and lawyers make it seem more confusing than it is. In essence, if you create a song - word and/or music - so long as that is in your head, you have no copyright. Once you write that down - which includes 'recording' it - then you achieve automatic copyright in the UK.

So the next step is to protect what you have recorded or written down so you can prove you wrote it. And yes, with a bit of clever envelope sealing, you can achieve that protection by sending yourself the registered postal delivery mail service containing your preferred medium. I'm not sure of any UK test cases in law regarding its use, but it would be very difficult to contest because a person claiming to own your works is unlikely to be able to forge a prior date on the franking on the envelope and on the certificate of posting.
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:48 pm

SilkLink wrote:I'm not sure of any UK test cases in law regarding its use,

I am. It's been thrown out several times and in several jurisdictions, inc. the UK and the US.

In the US, you can register your IP for a modest fee with the Copyright Office. Indeed, such registration is required before any litigation can be initiated. In the UK there is ONE and ONE ONLY way to prove the date of creation and that is to publish your work.

All these Mickey Mouse schemes, bogus companies that will 'register' your work, depositing your work with a bank, solicitor or Mrs Millie Tooley of 17, Ashby Lane, Scunthorpe, or posting it old Angus MacFilth in a sealed envelope, or even singing it to the Dalai Lama are all not worth a warm bucket of spit.
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby SilkLink » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:31 pm

“I am. It's been thrown out several times and in several jurisdictions, inc. the UK and the US.”

That’s what I have seen, which means that there isn’t a test case in law that disputes sending yourself a letter as a method of upholding your copyright, despite what other might say



“In the UK there is ONE and ONE ONLY way to prove the date of creation and that is to publish your work.”

I’m not so sure about this. Say I come up with an idea of a song and somehow get it published – or at least send it to a publisher to get it promoted. If it gets heard and someone points out that my tune is very similar to an existing tune, or maybe that one of my verse lyrics are more or less the same to that of another tune, I may be tried for breach of copyright. However, as with many musicians, I might have written the tune, or bits of it, years ago, and I might be able to prove it. I might have reason to suggest that the other tune is actually a copy of mine. So I don’t think publishing a tune proves anything about copyright. All you are doing is sending what you now consider to be a completed works to publisher. You may still have to prove it is your work. However, you do attract recording artist rights if your tune is played in public, as you are now the recording artist.
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:10 pm

OK, I've got a couple of minutes to kill. Let's try to knock some sense where none went before -

SilkLink wrote: which means that there isn’t a test case in law that disputes sending yourself a letter as a method of upholding your copyright, despite what other might say.


There are plenty. This nonsense with the envelope, as well as various private registration schemes are put forward by the foolish and judges keep throwing it out as inadmissible evidence.

SilkLink wrote: Say I come up with an idea of a song and somehow get it published – or at least send it to a publisher to get it promoted.


You are confusing publishing with publisher. You don't need a publisher to publish a work. You just have to get it out there, i.e. publish it and in such a way that the dates of making the work public are easily verifiable. GEMA, MCPS, printing/replication works and possibly even a distributor, iTunes and certainly Amazon would all be able to verify that a work was published at a given time.

SilkLink wrote:maybe that one of my verse lyrics are more or less the same to that of another tune, I may be tried for breach of copyright.


Now you are confusing civil and criminal law. This is a civil issue and you will not be tried for anything. You may find however litigation filed against you.

SilkLink wrote:I don’t think publishing a tune proves anything about copyright.


Read what I wrote - it proves the date of publication. No more and no less.

SilkLink wrote:You may still have to prove it is your work.


No, it's the other way about. In the case of litigation for injury or infringement of copyright, the litigant has to prove that the defendant did indeed infringe upon the litigant's copyright. The defendant does not have to do so intentionally. It may indeed be all his/her own work and he may even be able to prove that it was completely an original creation. That is irrelevant. If you come up with the same tune as an existing tune, you have infringed someone's copyright. All they have to prove, is that the tunes are the same and that their version pre-dates yours.
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby SilkLink » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:42 pm

"All they have to prove, is that the tunes are the same and that their version pre-dates yours. "

Exactly the point I'm making: getting it published does not prove you are the owner of the works. Copyright law has nothing to do with publishing something. To have and hold copyright you merely have to write your thoughts down or record them.

All the talk of litigation and what might be civil or criminal law is by the by. Copyright is all about who owns the works: in this case either the written (recorded)music and /or words.

Copyright can apply to paintings: I paint a picture and hang it on a gallery wall. It's published and my picture, right? BUT is it my works? Not necessarily. If I've copied someone else's work, then I have breached their copyright. What happens after that point and whether or not I get taken to court and have to pay some sort of fine is the subject of many other stories.
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby SilkLink » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:40 pm

Just to add to this topic, I found this today which is also specific to the UK

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/c-essential.pdf

Please note that this is a UK government organisation.

Because this document makes specific reference to the use of the 'poor mans copyright' or sending your works to yourself, I then started thinking about the sealed polythene envelopes that you get on parcels that you cannot simply open or steam open. Do a search on 'tamper proof envelopes' and you come across companies like this: http://versapak.co.uk/single-use-security-products/?gclid=CIKp88ueorYCFXDKtAodfWYArg

So, protect your copyright you must, but don't be fooled into thinking that basics don't work. When you look in detail, the people that tell you that 'poor man's copyright' doesn't work are the very lawyers and/or publishers/registration firms that want you to take your business to them - for a fee. And, guess what, you still haven't 'proved' you are the owner if it should ever be contested
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby ken long » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:27 pm

Can this be in the Music Business section also/instead?
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby 4TrackMadman » Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:30 am

PacoCro wrote:Here in Croatia we have no laws in that point

I don't believe that is true...now, how the courts uphold that is another thing.

I once had a discussion with a Balkan book editor, and I asked him how they secure the copyrights. He said: "we print them and if author then raises a stink, we'll come to some kind of financial arrangement". :roll:
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby Zukan » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:07 am

Thanks Hugh.

Won 't make a blind bit of difference what the content is. I have yet to find a government that actually upholds that particular act/law.
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Re: UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Postby Mixedup » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:34 am

SilkLink wrote:getting it published does not prove you are the owner of the works.

Note that the burden of proof required in the UK courts is different in civil law than in criminal law; you have to prove 'in the balance of probabilities' for civil law, and 'beyond reasonable doubt' in criminal law.

By publishing a work, you have a record of that work having existed at the time of publication. It doesn't prove when it was actually conceived/created, but if someone else copies that work and publishes their version later, that's evidence (not absolute proof, but strong evidence) that the first-published work existed prior to the 'copy' version. Ownership of the earlier work is a separate fact that needs proving separately. Though of course you can make statements about ownership/copyright when publishing. It would be hard to dispute those, unless someone has already made previous claims of ownership.

HOWEVER, the advice to publish all material as proof of its existence is also flawed. Because it's quite possible to create works you're not particularly proud of, or that you don't yet want in the public domain for good reasons. For example, maybe you're a songwriter who wants to shop their ideas around to labels/artists — who don't particularly want earlier versions out there before they release it. How best to ensure your ownership of the IP is registered in such scenarios?
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