As a number of readers will no doubt be aware, Ed Sheeran is currently awaiting the outcome of a High Court case regarding the copyright ownership in the song “Shape of You”, one of the best selling songs globally of 2017.
This case serves as a timely reminder of the need to secure your copyright in any works you are creating: an obstacle that frequently arises in copyright infringement cases is that the copyright owner can’t prove ownership with sufficient precision (e.g. the original draft cannot be located and the infringer takes advantage of the information gap and claims that their infringing materials were created earlier).
Therefore, you should retain evidence of creation of all works (e.g. dated PDF, JPEG documents etc.) and ideally a chain of earlier drafts tracking the evolution of the works from inception to completion. It sounds like a simple point (just be organised with your records!) but the information gap is a frequent problem with copyright infringement cases.
Also remember that if you are engaging a third party to provide the services in question (e.g. a freelance designer) then you must have a contract in place with them to transfer copyright over to you (even if you have paid them for their services.)
Here at Briffa, the team benefits from over 25 years’ experience assisting with both bringing and defending copyright infringement claims in nearly every jurisdiction in the world. If you need any further information in this regard please do feel free to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Tom Synott – Associate
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