“Can I register my copyright?” is a question we regularly get asked by businesses, particularly in the creative and advertising industries. In this article, we will look at copyright in the UK and answer this FAQ.
Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, copyright is a legal right that arises automatically in the UK. Therefore, if your work qualifies for copyright protection by meeting the required criteria, there is no need for you to register your copyright. You can evidence your legal right as an author of a copyright work by using the © symbol with your name and year of creation on the work, although it’s not necessary to include this symbol to benefit from copyright protection.
Although there is no requirement to register, it is possible to register your copyright with the UK Copyright Service (the UK©CS). This registration service allows you to register your copyright, meaning it is easier to prove your ownership should you need to tackle any copyright infringement.
Do I need to register my copyright overseas?
All countries recognise copyright, but there is no single system to register your copyright internationally. Whilst the law on copyright differs in each country as copyright is territorial in nature, around 178 countries have signed the Berne Convention which agrees a minimum set of standards for the protection of copyright in literary and artistic works.
For countries not party to the Berne Convention, this means your copyright protection will be dependent on the national laws of that country and therefore you may have to comply with local formalities for your work to be protected.
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