Copyright Registration in the UK – An Overview

Copyright Registration in the UK
Karan Singh
| Updated: Jan 29, 2022 | Category: Copyright

The primary objective is to safeguard the author’s Intellectual Property like artistic & literary works, books, songs, and any artistic expression which can be subjected to misuse by an illegal person for their benefit or use, which can prove to be a loss for the actual author or owner who creates such an Intellectual Property (IP). The Copyright Registration can go beyond National Boundaries. The application for Copyright Registrati0n in the UK (United Kingdom) and Copyright Registration in the USA is different. It’s a cost profiting strategy to obtain the Copyright Registration for situations that can prove to be a wrongful loss for the actual owner. Scroll down to check more information on Copyright Registration in the UK.

Law for Copyright Registration in the UK

The Copyright Legislation in the UK (United Kingdom) is the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act, 1988 (CDPA), which has been subject to some amendments after it came into existence. Copyright Law in the United Kingdom includes literary works like academic write-ups, scripts, dramatic like film, musical work, film, and plays which shall be an owner’s expression that should be unique & original. The uniqueness lies only in the expression of the idea.

Protection of Copyright Registration in the UK

There is no formal or official procedure for Copyright Registration in the UK, but in the United Kingdom, the day the work has been created, it shall be regarded protected under Copyright Law, and the actual owner shall be the creator or author who created such work. The British Copyright Council has made recommendations that the self-recording in case of creation of works be done to keep proof of the work and the date it came into action so that whenever, there is a case or instance of infringement by 3rd party. Self-recording can act as proof in the case of and avoid any failure to prove. It can be done in different ways such as:

  • Sending a working copy by post to themselves & keeping it sealed, by putting proper dates which shall mention the date of work creation;
  • Or making a copy and sending it to the professional expert of the actual owner or any company that owns it;
  • Or by employing any private companies that provide Copyright Registration services that can help to prove your ownership in case of a dispute. It should be remembered that such services are not associated with the UK Governmental Authority but a spate of a private company to help seek future disputes.

Enforcing Copyright Protection in the UK

The Copyright owner can only institute a lawsuit for Copyright Infringement in the UK Courts. It covers situations like mutilation & theft of the original work. The individual who has not been certified to use Copyright work can be prevented from doing so by the Courts of the United Kingdom. However, there is a certain exception of usage that can be allowed are:

  • Educational purposes for writing & teaching;
  • Non-commercial research & private study that is the academic purpose;
  • Parody where the idea can be used but original expression shall be done to avoid violation;
  • Helping disabled people to gain access;
  • Review, reporting & criticism of present events, which shall comprise reporting & news commenting.

The exceptions or exclusions are called fair dealing in the UK. By remembering the facts of the case, and if the individual who used the work has allocated fairly but doesn’t come under the specified expression of fair dealings, the Court shall still observe if the use is fair dealing and reasonable without any intent to harm the actual owner. There is no necessity to comprise a Copyright Notice[1] in case of Copyright Infringement, but it’s sensible to warn a 3rd party before any lawsuit. Another way to safeguard the work is by adding the symbol of the Copyright Logo ©, the name of the owner and the year the work had been published made at the bottom of the valid or appropriate work so that the parties know that the suit can be instituted against them if there is any violation done regarding that Intellectual Property (IP).

Application Process of Copyright Registration in the UK

Copyright Registration in the UK increases automatically when the author creates the work, and there is no need to file any specific form as it can be done in the US. However, to have the self-recording proof has been recommended, and if it is proven that the work is published by the creator or author and not the infringing party, the Court shall instruct the violating party to pay for damages.

The proof can also be done by sending or sending work to the UK Copyright Office, just for the sake of proof and creating bona fide evidence in case of future disputes concerning the IP of the owner.

What are the Protection Limits of the Copyright Registration in the UK?

Copyright terms of protection are identical to the US Copyright terms:

  • The authors of the dramatic works, musicals or any such art form shall be safeguarded after 70 years after the death of the actual owner.
  • The sound recording shall be safeguarded after 70 years after the 1st publishing of any work in the market.
  • Films enjoy Copyright Registration till 70 years after the death of the last author, director, or composer.
  • Publishing work in the magazines or other periodicals published shall enjoy Copyright Registration until 25 years after the end of the calendar year in which it was 1st published.
  • The broadcasts have Copyright Registration for 50 years after the 1st broadcasting.

The Copyright Owner or author has the right over their created work that is used in the copying, modifying, broadcast, or even authorizing others to do so. The creator or author also has the right to be identified as the author & can reject or refuse any fair dealings and say that it harms the reputation of the creator or author.


It is not compulsory to obtain Copyright Registration, but it is advisable to obtain it and can prove to be useful or beneficial in the case of potential future arguments. In the United Kingdom (UK), the Copyright is registered as soon as it’s created, as it is the case in India. The Copyright Registration cannot be done intentionally; however, the filing of Copyright Application by a member country of any conventions issues Copyright in the other member countries of the Convention.

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Karan Singh

A legal writing enthusiast, a wanderer, and a zealous reader. After gaining a lot of knowledge about the diverse legal topics and developing research skills, Karan joined the league of legal content writers to deliver quality-rich blogs.


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