A copyright protects an Original Work of Authorship (OWA) – think short story, computer program or song lyrics, for example – which must be the author’s original creation. Here’s some at-a-glance info on copyright:

  • As soon as you create a work, you automatically enjoy copyright, which prevents others from copying, publishing or performing your work.

  • Make sure that you own the work. In other words, you didn’t produce it as an employee, or as a work made for hire.

  • You don’t need to register your copyright; it’s an automatic right upon creation.

  • Mark your work as a copyrighted work to discourage infringers and give yourself legal advantages by using the copyright symbol, followed by your company or personal name, and the date of creation, for example: © Widgets Ltd 2011.

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Patents, Registered Designs, Trade Marks and Copyright For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

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