Copyright Lecture

Bad Artists copy; Good Artists steal – Pablo Picasso

We had a talk today about copyright and what it means for us as artists, designers and photographers.

For Information on Copyright Designs and Patent Act of 1988

HMSO Gov UK     or   Patent

  • Copyright comes into effect as soon as it is fixed for example, on paper, on film or a sound recording.
  •  It is referred to as Intellectual Property.
  • Copyright is separate from the ownership of the physical artwork
  • Copyright protection in the UK is automatic
  • you may need to prove that you were the first to create the work
  • Copyright last the creator lifetime +70 years from publication,  lifetime +50 for sound recordings and life +25 years for typographical
  • You can assign copyright for a set number of years, or give away complete copyright
  • Granting a licence is the best way


You would grant for a particular use of a painting

  • Exclusive – you will not allow anyone else to reproduce
  • Sole – you can use but no-one else
  • Non Exclusive – you can use the image and you can also licence others to use it.

Considerations within your own artwork

  • There is no copyright on ideas, names or colours
  • Incorporate images which are no longer in copyright
  • 1988 act states, if a work is incidentally included in artistic work, it will not be an infringement

You can register copyright with the following:

Copyright Service

IP Lab (Intellectual Property Specialists)




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