Copyright – Exploitation and Permitted Acts

Copyright is an automatic right in the UK. A copyright owner has the exclusive right to do certain acts in relation to its work it creates.

The owner of the copyright controls the exploitation of its work by making or selling copies to the public or by granting permission to a third party to make use of its work in return for a payment. The most common example of granting permission to a third party is when the owner of copyright in literature works allows a publishing company to print and sell copies of the work in book form in return for payments.

If an individual performs one of the restricted acts of copyright, which are set out in section 16 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, without seeking permission from the owner, it can be held liable for copyright infringement. here are certain exceptions to copyright infringement.

There are however, a wide range of permitted acts which fall under fair dealings, visual impairment and education. These seek to provide a balance between the rights of the copyright owners and the rights of the general public. For example:

• Fair dealings for private study – this is where a person makes a single copy of a few pages of a book in the library for the purposes of private study.
• Fair dealings for criticism/review – this is where a person copies a section of a book in order to criticise the work.
• The making of copies accessible for visually impaired persons.

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