The fixed and originality requirements for Copyright protection

A copyright is an automatic Intellectual Property right that is granted at the time of the creation of an original literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work. 

In order for a copyright to exist and withhold the monopoly rights that they do, they must suffice the requirements of being Fixed and Original. This is in place within UK law to ensure the Intellectual creations of the originator are protected from the false creations of another.

The Originality Requirement:

The copyright must be original to be protected under UK laws, this is included for literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. The threshold for this requirement is relatively low, but continues to be unidentified by legislation. However, based on previous cases, it is understood that whether originality can be sufficed or not, is a question of facts and decisions from the case at hand. 

Based on previous case law, it is confirmed that it is not expected for the work to be inventive, or even useful, and is not judged based on the quality of the work. It must, however, be sufficed that the creation of the work involved a level of labour, skill, judgement or effort for the creation to substantiate the originality requirement. Although, not all levels of labour, skill, judgement or effort will be adequate to suffice this requirement. 

It is worth noting that the copying of an image, painting or drawing will not automatically be protected under Copyrights laws, despite their creations involving a skill to complete. This guidance exists to prevent original authors’ Intellectual creations from being copied over and over again, and therefore, losing its importance and value.

If a piece of work suffices this originality requirement, it protects the authors’ skills and efforts that were used and made to create the work.

The Fixed requirement:

For a Copyright to be approved, it must also be fixed. 

This means that the work must be recorded, or exist in a permanent form that can then, itself, gain the protection of copyright.

While the majority of artistic works are created at the point of their fixation, as is the case with a photograph or a completed painting, this is not the same for literary, dramatic or musical works. Unless the work itself, whether this be a song, or a play or rhythm, is recorded or written down, it will not be protected under copyright protection, as it will be in an unfixed state. 

It is important to note that it does not matter who makes the recording of the work, more so that it is fixed either way. 

If you have any questions concerning the topics in this article, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the team at Lawdit Solicitors today.

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