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Qualification for copyright protection (Author)

Written by Owen Ross on 24 March 2012

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For a work to qualify for copyright protection in the UK the auther must be a qualifying person under section 153(1)(a) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (the Act).

Under Section 154 of the Act a qualification is by reference to the author the author must at the material time have been a qualifying person, that is -

(a) a British citizen, a British Dependent Territories citizen, a British National (Overseas), a British Overseas citizen, a British subject or a British protected person within the meaning of the British Nationality Act 1981, or

(b) an individual domiciled or resident in the United Kingdom or another country to which the relevant provisions of this Part extend, or

(c) a body incorporated under the law of a part of the United Kingdom or of another country to which the relevant provisions of this Part extend,


the work must first have been published in, or in the case of a broadcast, the broadcast must have been first made in the UK or a country to which the CDPA extends.

The material time in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is when the work was made or, if the making of the work extended over a period, a substantial part of that period; or when the work was first published, or if the author had died before that time, immediately before his death.

A work of joint authorship qualifies for copyright protection if at the material time any of the authors satisfies the requirements.

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