Copyright basics: LDMA works

When considering if your work is afforded copyright protection, it is important that you clear if your work is a LDMA work.

A LDMA work indicates the type of work that automatically will be protected by copyright on its creation.

There are other types of works that can be protected by copyright but the rules relate mainly to LDMA works.

LDMA stands for:

  • Literary works
  • Dramatic works
  • Musical works
  • Artistic works

Most works can be easily put into one of these categories, however there are some surprises.

For example, computer programmes are covered by literary copyright, as a computer program is created by written code.

In addition, as the definition of ‘Literary works’ states that it excludes dramatic and musical works, a script for a film would actually be protected as dramatic copyright work rather than a literary work.

Also, a work can be broken down into parts which attract different copyright protection. For example a song can be broken down into its lyrics and the music. The lyrics will be protected by literary copyright and the music by musical copyright. It is therefore the norm for song royalties to broken down into two, unless the same person wrote both parts of the song.

If you need some advice on how to ensure your work is protected, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Lawdit team!

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