A spark of Covid lockdown creativity? Be aware of copyright protection in the workplace

With many of us working from home, potentially with more time on our hands, you may have been pushing the boundaries of your job and getting creative.

You may have completed that project you have been putting off for some time, as you didn’t have the time to do so. In lockdown, this is the position of many.

However, while the times we are in are far from normal, it is important that you are clear of the laws in respect of copyright protection, which haven’t changed.

You may be under the impression that any original works you create as part of your job, you will own the copyright protection in. This impression is incorrect.

In normal circumstances, the creator or author of work becomes the owner of any copyright protection that originates in the work.

However, the rules surrounding works created in the course of employment differ from this.

Unless your employment contract says otherwise, which is unlikely, you will have to agree that all rights in the works created whilst in the course of your employment are immediately transferred to your employers.

The term ‘in the course of your employment’ can be a wide term and there have been many instances where it isn’t clear if a work has been created in the course of employment or not.

It is always best to ensure that these points are made clear for both parties at the beginning of the employment contract. If you are likely to do work relating to your employment but outside of the remit of what you are being employed to do, it is best to ensure the right terms are in place to enable your copyright protection to remain secure.

In the current climate, before you go above and beyond, check in with your employer and make sure there is an agreement in place.

If you would like more information or some guidance on your situation, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Lawdit Copyright team today.

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