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Copyright for BGU Staff

A basic introduction to copyright for BGU staff

Copyright is a legal right determining how intellectual works can be used, reproduced and distributed

All intellectual works are copyrighted - it is an automatic right. There's no application process, as there is for a patent, and a work doesn't have to display the © symbol in order to be copyrighted.

An intellectual work is anything created as a result of intellectual endeavour.  Books, articles, plays, blogs, websites, videos, photos, works of art, lyrics and musical compositions are all intellectual works.

The first person who holds the copyright on an intellectual work - the 'copyright holder' or 'rights holder' - is usually the person who created it, but copyright can be transferred (to a publisher, for example) or sold.

In UK law, copyright in literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works usually lasts for 70 years after the death of the creator.  For sound recordings and broadcasts it lasts for 50 years from the time the work was created or broadcast. Typographical copyright - the way an edition of a work is formatted - usually lasts for 25 years from the publication date. 

At BGU copyright compliance is overseen by the Library but it is the responsibility of individual academics to ensure any teaching materials they use and any research output they generate is copyright compliant (as per the University's Code of Practice on Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy*) and that all citations, author credits/attributions, licence links and permission statements are clear and visible.

Copyright is legislated by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The government agency responsible for its implementation is the Intellectual Property Office.

*Accessible from the Policies, Procedures, Regulations & Forms page of the BGU website under Records Management and Personal Data.