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Thus the objective of the copyright law was essentially to provide a monopoly for authors and creators in order to protect their creative works and reward them for their efforts. However to examine, whether the existing copyright legislation in the UK provides for a full enjoyment of this monopoly right by the authors and creators in the present day circumstances is the object of this paper.
Copyright law is concerned with the protection of the expression of ideas of individuals which take the form of creative works. However the copyright law does not offer any protection to the original ideas themselves. The following scope of 'copyright' as outlined by the UK Patent Office (2001) will eliminate the confusion on the coverage of the copyright law:
"Copyright gives the creators of a wide range of material, such as literature, art, music, sound recordings, films and broadcasts, economic rights enabling them to control use of their material in a number of ways, such as by making copies, issuing copies to the public, performing in public, broadcasting and use on-line. Copyright also gives moral rights to be identified as the creator of certain kinds of material, and to object to distortion or mutilation of it. The purpose of copyright is to allow creators to gain economic rewards for their efforts and so encourage future creativity and the development of new material, which benefits us all" (UK Patent Office 2001)

Copyright Law in the UK:

As already observed the copyright does not subsist in an idea but subsists in the particular form of representation of the idea. The peculiarity of the copyright law is that the copyright arises without cost or registration at the moment the representation of the idea is completed by its author. With a view to obviate the difficulties in protecting the monopoly rights of authors and creators in the form of a unique protection right, the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 were enacted.
"Under UK law the representations of creativity in which Copyright subsists are:
original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works;
sound recordings, films, broadcasts, and cable programmes"

Difficulties in Claiming Protection under Copyright Law in the UK:

The word 'copy' in the term 'copyright' does not imply the copying of the whole work but to constitute an infringement it is enough a substantial portion of the of the material in which the copyright subsists is taken for the use of others. Therefore the first difficulty arises in deciding whether infringement is to be counted on the basis of quantity or quality. Though being debatable the courts may take the older view that the matter needs to be judged on the basis of quality rather than quantity. But still the onus of proving the infringement lies on the author or creator to claim the legal protection.
In some cases it may be difficult to determine whether a particular creation can be regarded as a 'work of artistic craftsmanship'. The classic example in this case lies in the case of Henshaw -v- Restawhile where a new sofa with a frame covered by appropriate materials was designed by a team of craftsmen. In order to ...Show more


The origin of copyright legislation in the UK can be traced back to the sixteenth century. The principal aims for which the copyright legislation had been enacted include encouraging education and learning. Besides this purpose the copyright legislation also aimed to reward the authors for their efforts by providing them a monopoly right on their works for printing them for a definite period of time…
Author : shieldsrhiannon
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