Copyright Laws (UK)
The copyright laws in this country are quite specific, and can cause real problems if you fall foul of them, as we did some years ago when we were "pulled over the coals" for using snippets from another magazine, even though we credited them with the articles, we hadn't obtained permission to use them.
Who Owns Copyright ?
In UK law the first owner of copyright in a work is the 'author'. This can be an individual or an organisation, as in cases where a work is produced in the course of employment the initial copyright is owned by the employer unless an agreement to the contrary exists. The copyright in a work can, and is, traded as commodity. Authors frequently assign the copyright to their work to a publisher in return for royalties on copies sold, but in doing so sell their own right to copy the work. An alternative is for an author to licence a publisher to produce copies, in which case they only assign those rights to the work which are specified in the licence and retain ownership of the copyright themselves.
How long does Copyright last ?
Known Author - 70 years from the end of the year of the authors death.
Multiple Known Authors - 70 years from the end of the year of the last identifiable authors death.
Unknown Author - 70 years from the end of the year in which the work was made or, - 70 years from when the work was made available to the public, if this event occurs within the 70 year period from the date of creation.
Sound recordings, broadcasts, cable programmes and films, with no identifiable authors - 50 years from the date of creation or release.