With the present concerns regarding Brexit the UK Government has clarified the position by stating that most UK copyright works (such as books, films and music) will still be protected in the EU and the UK because of the UK’s participation in the international treaties on copyright. For the same reason, EU copyright works will continue to be protected in the UK. This applies to works made before and after Brexit. References to the European Economic Area (EEA) will be removed from UK law. This will not stop EEA works qualifying for copyright, because all EEA states are party to the international treaties.

Copyright duration in the UK for works from the UK, EEA, or other countries will not change after Brexit.

References to the EEA will be removed from UK law in this area so that duration for EEA works is calculated in the same way as for non-EEA works. Because copyright duration is equal across the UK and the EEA, there will be no immediate impact on copyright duration in the UK.

There are seven main areas of copyright authorship:

1. Literary works (including computer programs),
2. Musical works, including any accompanying words,
3. Dramatic works, including any accompanying music,
4. Pantomimes and choreographic works,
5. Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works,
6. Motion pictures and other audio visual works,
7. Sound recordings.

There are a number of common copyright ‘myths’ including for example:
1. Copyright can protect my ideas
Copyright applies to a recorded work, it cannot apply to something as intangible as an idea.
2. I can copyright a name or title
Copyright laws are actually very restrictive, and do not apply to items such as names and titles that may be duplicated coincidentally, or that may be legitimately used in unrelated instances.
3. I can simply post a copy to myself as proof of copyright
Sometimes called ‘poor man’s copyright’ but it is extremely poor evidence as it is very easy to fake.
4. Anything without a copyright notice is not protected
Copyright will apply whether there is a copyright notice or not.

Audley Chaucer solicitors lead its clients through the legislation to protect all aspects of intellectual property including those areas outside of the EEA such as disputes in the US, Asia, Europe and the Far East to reach a satisfactory outcome and ensure their clients understand each step of the process.

Ian Lake

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