The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61266   Message #1305475
Posted By: PennyBlack
24-Oct-04 - 06:34 AM
Thread Name: Music and Copyright
Subject: RE: Music and Copyright
UK - The MCPS-PRS Alliance

When does Copyright start?

Copyright in a musical work arises automatically once it is recorded either in writing or by some other means. Works can be recorded - and copyright may thereby arise - in a variety of ways including making a video, tape or CD recording of the work, as well as by the more traditional notation of a musical score.

How is Copyright protected?

No official registration is necessary to secure copyright in a work. Under UK law, both musical and literary works are automatically protected from the time they are fixed in some material form. Consequently in the event of a dispute over authorship, ownership or originality, there is no standard method of proving that one work was in existence before another.

There are, however, the following suggested ways to help prove that the work was created on a specific date:

Deposit a copy with a solicitor or bank manager and obtain a receipt. Charges are likely to be incurred for this service.

Send copy of the work to yourself by registered delivery leaving the envelope unopened upon receipt. Remember also to label the envelope so you can easily identify the work(s) contained within it.

The registering of a title with MCPS and PRS (as is required of members) does not create copyright in the notified work.

What rights does a Copyright owner have?

The Act gives a copyright owner the exclusive right to do, and authorise others to do certain acts (known as 'restricted acts') in the UK.

What are the restricted acts?These are:

to copy the work

to issue copies of the work to the public

to rent or lend the work to the public

to perform, show or play the work in public

to communicate the work to the public*

to make an adaptation of the work or do any of the above in relation to an adaptation

*includes broadcasting, broadcasting on demand and use of music on the Internet
interactive services, including satellite and cable transmissions.

No-one can authorise any of the above acts without the copyright owner's permission.

Generally the author of a work (described in the Act as the 'person who creates it') is the first owner of any copyright in the work. However, since copyright is a form of property, the author can transfer the whole or part of his copyright in a work to another party (such as PRS or a publisher), so the author of the work is not necessarily the copyright owner.

How long does Copyright last in the UK?

Copyright in original musical and literary works generally lasts for a period ending 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.

If a work originates from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) the duration of copyright lasts for as long as the work is protected by copyright in its country of origin, provided that length of time does not exceed the period for which UK copyright law protects works of EEA origin.