Copy-Right Consultants Ltd
Eduserv

Question 1

Is the card (the work) capable of copyright protection (here we are referring to the card in its entirety, including all the content)?

No:  Because it’s not original enough – this card is the same or too similar to many other cards – too generic.

Incorrect answer: While a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work attracts copyright protection only if it is ‘original’, the case law shows originality means little more than the work itself must not be copied more or less entirely from another work. If you want to know more please read: How original does my work have to be in order to gain protection?

No:  Because it uses third-party content (content owned by other people/companies etc.).

Incorrect answer: The card as whole is the ‘work’ in question (protected as an artistic work). However, the card may only be exploited or made available further in accordance with the licences obtained for the use of the third-party content. If you want to know more please read: What does a copyright owner own?

No:  Because it’s not very good; very poor quality and looks amateurish.

Incorrect answer: The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 states ‘artistic work’ means: (a) a graphic work, photograph, sculpture or collage, IRRESPECTIVE OF ARTISTIC QUALITY. A ‘graphic work’ includes any painting, drawing, diagram, map, chart or plan. s.4(1)(a) and s.4(2)(a). If you want to know more about what is protected by copyright please read: Categories of works and periods of protection.

No:  Because it hasn’t got a symbol on and/or I haven’t registered it.

Incorrect answer: It is a fundamental principle of copyright that protection is automatic, synonymous with the work being reduced to material form, with no registration process (no formalities required). It is not a requirement in the UK to stamp it with the symbol, year of publication and name of the copyright holder (although it is advisable as this identifies the copyright holder and establishes the year the work was created and is a condition for obtaining protection in those countries who are members of the Universal Copyright Convention but not of the Berne Convention). If you want to know more about how copyright is achieved and the Berne Convention, please read: The Development of International Copyright and Do I have to pay a fee and register Copyright?

Yes:  Because it’s original and I didn’t copy it substantially from anywhere else.

Correct answer: You have created an artistic work capable of copyright protection because it’s original and you didn’t copy it substantially (you may have taken small quotes etc which may be deemed insubstantial) from anywhere else. You may have been provided with ideas e.g. the card having a particular theme such as a champagne bottle on the front, a verse inside, but there is no copyright in ideas.

The work is original (not copied from anywhere else), but does not need to be novel e.g. a completely new idea. In the UK there is no formal registration process, nor is it a requirement to stamp it with the symbol, year of publication, name of copyright holder. If you want to know more about what is protected by copyright please read: Categories of works and periods of protection. If you want to know more about how you get to own copyright please read: Who owns copyright in a work? and Do I have to pay a fee and register Copyright?

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Correct Answer

The correct answer is that you have created an artistic work capable of copyright protection because it’s original and you didn’t copy it substantially (you may have taken small quotes etc which may be deemed insubstantial) from anywhere else. You may have been provided with ideas e.g. the card having a particular theme such as a champagne bottle on the front, a verse inside, but there is no copyright in ideas.

The work is original (not copied from anywhere else), but does not need to be novel e.g. a completely new idea. In the UK there is no formal registration process, nor is it a requirement to stamp it with the symbol, year of publication, name of copyright holder. If you want to know more about what is protected by copyright please read: Categories of works and periods of protection. If you want to know more about how you get to own copyright please read: Who owns copyright in a work? and Do I have to pay a fee and register Copyright?

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