Intellectual Property & Copyright

 

  1. What is Intellectual Property?
    Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial Property includes patents for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications.
  2. What is Copyright?
    Protection of intellectual property.
  3. Why is this an issue?

People often do not obey the copyright rule, they copy the software which is protected. Most people who pirate (copy) do not think of what they are doing as a crime. But as they do so they are causing profit losses to big corporations or even local bands.

  1. Protection methods
    Copyright prevents people from:
  • copying your work
  • distributing copies of it, whether free of charge or for sale
  • renting or lending copies of your work
  • performing, showing or playing your work in public
  • making an adaptation of your work
  • putting it on the internet
  1. Penalties
    Copyright prevents people from:
  • copying your work
  • distributing copies of it, whether free of charge or for sale
  • renting or lending copies of your work
  • performing, showing or playing your work in public
  • making an adaptation of your work
  • putting it on the internet

However, some minor uses may fall within the scope of exceptions to copyright; further information on these, and on the recent changes to the law, can be found in our copyright guide.

Copyright infringement can lead to substantial penalties, even if the UK legal system is unlikely to hit American levels of awards.

Upon conviction in the magistrates' court the maximum term of incarceration in the UK for copyright infringement is 6 months and/or a fine of up to £50,000.

Upon conviction in the Crown Court the maximum term of incarceration in the UK for copyright infringement is 10 years and/or an "unlimited" fine.

Colleges, universities and other learning providers may be vulnerable to the extent that office holders and those responsible for compliance must not knowingly facilitate the commercial abuse of copyright protected work.

For example - most if not all of our contracts with our database providers reserve the right to terminate the agreement for a material breach and to recover the costs from ARU; this could also lead to compensation for such infringement. As a result, the entire University would lose access to all the journal articles etc. provided through that database.

The Intellectual Property Office

www.ipo.gov.uk

The Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom (often The IPO) is, since 2 April 2007, the operating name of The Patent Office. It is the official government body responsible for intellectual property rights in the UK and is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Copyright is too technical for the police to come into and protect, rather the IPO deals with the prosecutions.

 

Downloads - 4 worksheets - PDFs

Computers & Copyright

Cyber Piracy

Copy Protection

Software Piracy