Information on copyright and intellectual property rights is available here:
Copyright Notice Number: 1/2014 Updated: March 2014
This is just a brief extract from this important notice from the Intellectual Property Office. Download the full paper at-
What is a Copyright Notice?
Copyright Notices are published by the Intellectual Property Office to help explain specific areas ofcopyright in the UK. This notice is aimed at small businesses and individuals who may wish to use digital or photographic images on the web. It also provides advice for people who may find their own images being used online.
This notice is not meant as a substitute for legal advice on particular cases, but it can help readers gauge the possible consequences of a particular course of action. It is not a conclusive view of the law –only a decision of the court can deal with that.
In short, most images and photos are likely to be protected by copyright. This means that a user will usually need the permission of the copyright owner(s) if they want to copy the image or share it on the internet.
References to “images” in this Copyright Notice include:
– digital photos taken on mobile phones and digital cameras;
– images that were first generated on photographic film and any digital images created from them
– images such as diagrams and illustrations.
Please note that some of the issues raised in this Copyright Notice will only apply to photos.
Who owns copyright in an image?
The person who creates an image (“the creator”), such as somebody who takes a photo, will generally be the owner of the original copyright. However, if it was created as part of the creator’s job, the employer will generally own the copyright.A creator can license the work directly themselves. They can also “assign” (transfer) the copyright to another person or allow that other person to license the workon their behalf. Licensing is giving another person or organisation permission to use a work such as an image, often in return for payment and/or on certain conditions.
What if I do not know who the copyright owner is?
Copyright does not disappear simply because the owner cannot be found. In a work where the copyright owner is not known or cannot be located, permission to use the work cannot be obtained.
These are known as orphan works, and under the current law these cannot be copied. A forthcoming change in the law will allow people to buy licences to use these works in some circumstances. Even if there is no evidence of an owner, any unauthorised use of the photo without permission would be an infringement of copyright.