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Chapter

Cover Holyoak and Torremans Intellectual Property Law

13. Authorship and ownership of copyright  

This chapter explains the law on authorship and copyright ownership. The creator of a work is, in principle, its author. There can be more than one creator for a work and therefore also more than one author. Joint authorship arises when more than one creator is involved in the creation of the work and the contribution of each creator can no longer be separated out in the final result. Copyright is a property right and, as such, needs an owner. The general principle is that the author will be the first owner of the copyright in his or her work.

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

3. Authorship and ownership  

This chapter analyses how the law evaluates authorship of copyright works. It is crucial to distinguish between authorship and ownership of copyright works, as the two do not necessarily coincide. The reason for this is that an author may decide to license or assign the ownership of the work to a third party, such as a publisher, in exchange for money, i.e. royalties. In such case, the author would still be classed as the author of the work, but would no longer own the economic rights to control the ‘restricted acts’. Authorship and ownership of copyright works is even more complicated in the case of works that are authored and owned jointly. The definition of a work of joint authorship is very precise — it must not be possible to identify each author's respective contribution. The rights of joint-owners are set out in s. 173(2) CDPA.

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

5. Authorship and First Ownership  

L. Bently, B. Sherman, D. Gangjee, and P. Johnson

This chapter examines the concept of authorship, as it is understood in copyright law, as well as the first ownership of copyright and the various exceptions to this rule. It begins by discussing the author of a work as defined in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 before elaborating on the task of determining who the author of a work is, including difficulties raised by joint authorship. The chapter also looks at exceptions to first ownership, including works created by employees, those governed by Crown copyright or made under the direction or control of Parliament, and commissioned works.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Intellectual Property

3. Copyright 2: subject matter, first ownership, and term  

This chapter first examines the subject matter in which copyright subsists and the criteria for copyright protection as set out in the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988). This centres on the concept of the ‘protected work’ and makes use of a distinction between what are sometimes known as ‘author works’ (literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and film works) and ‘media works’ (typographical arrangements, sound recordings, broadcasts, and adaptations). It then considers the identification of the first owner of copyright when it comes into existence. It discusses the concept of joint authorship and ownership of copyright works when created in the course of employment. The final section discusses the duration of copyright.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Intellectual Property

3. Copyright 2: subject matter, first ownership, and term  

This chapter first examines the subject matter in which copyright subsists and the criteria for copyright protection as set out in the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988). This centres on the concept of the ‘protected work’ and makes use of a distinction between what are sometimes known as ‘author works’ (literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and film works) and ‘media works’ (typographical arrangements, sound recordings, broadcasts, and adaptations). It then considers the identification of the first owner of copyright when it comes into existence. It discusses the concept of joint authorship and ownership of copyright works when created in the course of employment. The final section discusses the duration of copyright.

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

3. Copyright II: Authorship, Ownership, Exploitation, Term, Moral Rights, and Economic Rights  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter discusses principles relating to the authorship and ownership of copyright, and the significance of this designation. It examines how owners of copyright can exploit their works by either assignment or licence and the circumstances in which courts can imply terms in the absence of parties having agreed as to how a copyright work can be exploited. The chapter discusses the term of copyright protection and also examines exclusive rights, both moral and economic in nature, that authors and owners respectively have in their copyright works.