Guide

Copyright for your business

Copyright protection

If your business creates original works, copyright protection could be an important part of ensuring its success. It might be essential to enforce your rights if a rival with a similar product or service copies your instruction manual or welcome pack, for instance.

Dealing with copyright infringement

If you think your copyright is being infringed, you should first seek legal advice from a specialist who may suggest a first step of sending a carefully worded warning letter to the alleged infringer. They may be genuinely unaware of the infringement or they might stop when they know they've been found out.

If this fails, you should take further legal advice from a specialist. If you go to court and win your case, you could be awarded damages and get an injunction to stop your material from being misused.

Before becoming involved in an expensive court case, you should try to negotiate with the other party and come to some sort of agreement. The courts may look favourably on any party which seeks to resolve the disagreement in this way before taking legal action. Mediation could even lead to you agreeing to license your material to the other party.

Read more about licensing copyright material.

Copyright notices service

To help you better understand the copyright law, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can prepare a copyright notice, providing detailed guidance on an area of law which is particularly complex or confusing.

Joining an organisation to protect copyright

Some groups of copyright owners - eg software designers and music producers - can join organisations which help to protect their interests. Some of these organisations may even investigate copyright infringement and take action against alleged infringers. Find organisations representing copyright owners.