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Copyright, Moral Rights And Performers' Rights Notes

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Copyright, moral rights and performers' rights Copyright This is a property right

What types of copyright does the work contain?

Classical works - s.1(1)(a) CDPA Original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work

a) Requirements for a classic work to be copyrighted

1) Fixation - It must be recorded in writing or otherwise - s.3(2) CDPA

This must be recorded in a permanent form onto any medium in a way that it can be reproduced

There is no copyright in mere 'ideas' - It has to be fixed

E.g. For a literary work when it is typed into a computer

E.g. For a music recording when it is put onto a CD or by writing the music notation

2) Originality

a) It must originate from the author (not copied from another)

b) The creation of the work must have involved some skill and judgment

3) The work is more than De Minimis Exxon Corp v Exxon Insurance Consultants

The made up name 'Exxon' was insufficiently substantial to qualify for copyright protection

This would also apply to song and film titles and character names IPC Magazines v MGN Ltd

If the name or title is represented in a particular or stylised was (e.g. as a logo) artistic copyright would likely arise

b) Types of classic copyright

Literary copyright - s.3 CDPA

Any work, other than a dramatic or musical work, which is written, spoken or sung

E.g. Can therefore apply to a table of numbers as much as song lyrics

Dramatic copyright - s.3 CDPA

Would include works of dance and mime which are capable of being performed to an audience

Musical copyright - s.3 CDPA

Music, exclusive of any words or action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with the music

E.g. the tune to a song, an advertising jingle or a series of notes (Intel)

A new musical arrangement of another song would attract new musical copyright if sufficiently original

Artistic copyright - s.4 CDPA

E.g. Graphic works, paintings, drawing, diagrams, maps, engravings, photographs and architecture irrespective of artistic quality or merit

Derivative works - s.1(1)(b) and (c) CDPA These are derived from classic works because the classic works provide their underlying subject-matter

a) Requirements for a classic work to be copyrighted

1) No requirement for originality

The copyright in the derivative work exists independently of any copyright in the underlying work

b) Types of derivative copyright

Sound recordings - s.5A CDPA

Includes sound recordings of a performance on CDs, vinyl and digital recordings (mp3)

Films - s.5B CDPA

Includes recording on any medium which a moving image may by any means be produced such as films, home videos, TV adverts, music videos and news footage

Broadcasts - s.6 CDPA

Defines as an electronic transmission of visual images, sounds or other information for simultaneous reception by members of the public

Includes broadcasts submitted to the public on terrestrial and satellite, by TV or radio

Does not include internet transmission unless they are simultaneous

This is in addition to any copyright in the underlying material

Typographical - s.1(1)(c) and s.8 CDPA

Includes the typesetting / formatting of published editions of the whole or part of a literary, dramatic or musical works

E.g. For a new publication of a Shakespeare sonnet the literary copyright in the sonnet itself will have expired, but the publishers will still have typographical copyright in the formatting / layout

Who is the author?

The author will also, generally, be the original copyright owner

General rule

The author is the creator of the work - s.9(1) CDPA

Special rules

Sound recordings - s.9(2)(aa) The producer is the author

Films - s.9(2)(ab) The producer and the principal director are the authors

Broadcasts - s.9(2)(b) The person making the broadcast is author

Typographical arrangements of published editions - s.9(1)(d) The publisher of the edition is the author

Joint ownership

Hadley v Kemp

Kemp was the principal songwriter

Other group members made small changes to the songs leading up to recordings

Did not contribute sufficiently to be joint authors

Levy v Rutley

To achieve joint ownership the work must be the join design of two or more persons working on the work 'in concert'

There must be joint labouring in common design

Who is the owner of the copyright?

General rule

The author is the first owner of the copyright in the work - s.11(1)

E.g. A painter sells his picture, but retains the copyright in the underlying work and can therefore reproduce prints of the painting


Where an employee makes a copyright work in the course of his employment - s.11(2)

If it is as part of his normal duties;

The employer is the first owner of the copyright;

Subject to an agreement to the contrary


The author of the commissioned copyright work is still the owner - s.9

This is even though the client has right to the physical copyright work (e.g. a photograph)

Commissioner would therefore still need consent of author to make copies of the work

Commissioner would be advised to obtain assignment of the work or a license

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