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https://ipo.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/09/creative-writing-a-new-chapter/

Creative writing: A new chapter

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Copyright

I love reading. It allows our imaginations to run wild and provides a sense of escapism from everyday life, which is so important in these uncertain times. It also helps us switch off from our mobile phones, TVs and dare I say it … our partners.

A book, cup of hot chocolate and candles with garland on window sill

Reading also provides a number of physical and mental health benefits such as reducing stress, alleviating depression and aiding sleep. With all the positive benefits associated with reading, why not allocate yourself some time and pick up that book you never finished?

I personally enjoy reading spy novels and my favourite series of books was written by British author Anthony Horowitz about a spy called Alex Rider. The earlier books have recently been turned into a series which has resulted in me picking up the book once again.

Turning a new page

Alternatively, you may have the desire to write your own book and now may be the perfect time for you. When writing a book, your written work will automatically be protected by copyright. This means your work is protected and allows you to stop others from using it without your permission.

In the case of a literary work, the copyright typically belongs to the author or creator and lasts 70 years from the death of the author. You don’t have to apply to protect your work like you would with a patent or trade mark, and there is no fee involved. However, it’s your responsibility to defend your intellectual property (IP) and to take action if someone’s used it without permission.

Avoiding copyright infringement

In the case of author Dan Tyte, he was careful not to infringe other people’s copyright when writing his book. He did however want to use Bob Dylan’s lyrics from the song Blonde on Blonde. To avoid copyright infringement, he wrote a letter to Bob Dylan’s record label who confirmed Dan could use the lyrics.

If you are new to copyright, here are our top tips as outlined in the video:

  • sign and date your material
  • keep earlier drafts
  • lodge the work with an IP specialist, solicitor or bank manager. You can send the work to yourself by recorded delivery but make sure you do not open the envelope when it arrives on your doorstop
  • ensure that copyright ownership is outlined in any contracts before signing
  • make sure you get permission from the copyright owner before using anyone else’s material.

When your work is published, you may also want to consider using the © copyright symbol together with your name. However, this isn’t a legal requirement and doesn’t affect the level of protection you have.

The word Copyright typed out on a typewriter

I will however stick to reading and leave the writing to the much more imaginative and skilled writers out there. I hope this blog has inspired you to get into reading or to take the plunge and write your own book. Who knows, maybe I’ll be reading your book in the not too distant future!

Discover more about copyright on our dedicated guidance pages for businesses and creatives.

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8 comments

  1. Comment by Yesi Merino posted on

    Thank you, this is a great blog and thank you for sharing the importance in copy rights.

    Reply
  2. Comment by Carl Lee posted on

    A famous uk woman used the lyrics from one of songs named Jesus was a Palestinian
    Without my permission
    The verse are as follow
    Don't see you as I do
    Girl quite as often as do
    Heard you moved out of town
    Found yourself a new boyfried
    Got married settled down
    And was about to have a few babies
    In her version of the song
    She called it
    Someone like you
    She said
    I heard you moved out of town
    Got married etc
    On contacting her record company
    Aout rhis blatant copyright infringement
    And plagerisation of my song
    There comment to me on the phone was
    You stand no chance mate etc
    This happened a few years back
    I even contacted the PRS about so called POP artist infringement of other artist works
    And from my experience thier is a racist systematic agenda to protect certain people
    When they reach a certain level in this celebrity society

    Reply
  3. Comment by PCS posted on

    Great well done however the second image (YouTube) looks like a Policeman with no hat, just about to cosh the other chap. Cannot the graphics/video team see that?

    Reply
    • Replies to PCS>

      Comment by Rebecca Trussell posted on

      Good morning,

      Thank you for your feedback. This is a thumbnail image of the scene where the photographer hands over a framed portrait. The model is a plumber who features in other IP Basics videos. We hope the video will be watched in full so that readers can learn more about copyright, however we will look into whether we can change the thumbnail to a different snapshot.

      Many thanks,
      Becks

      Reply
      • Replies to Rebecca Trussell>

        Comment by PCS posted on

        I watched the video and saw where you got the screenshot from. Thanks for replying and your actions.

        Reply
  4. Comment by Srilata Gangulee posted on

    Thank you. It's true that many of us need this information but this was also a pleasure to read.

    Reply

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