Copyright: What is meant by "the Author"

The author of a work is the person who creates it (s. 9 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 ("the CDPA")). In the case of a sound recording the author means the producer, in the case of a film the producer and principal director, in the case of a broadcast the person making the broadcast (unless the broadcast is in fact a relay and immediate re-transmission of another broadcast in which case it is the person making that other broadcast). In the case of the typographical arrangement of a published edition the publisher. Before the 31 Oct 2003 when the law was changed by The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003, the author of a cable broadcast was the person providing the cable programme service in which the programme is included.

Computer Generated Works
The author of a computer generated artistic, dramatic, literary or musical work is the person who undertakes the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work (see s. 9 (3)).

Joint Authorship
S. 10 (1) provides that "work of joint authorship" is a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of each author is not distinct from that of the other author or authors. A new s.10 (1A) inserted by reg. 18 (2) of The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 1996 (SI 1996 No 2967) provides that a film is automatically treated as a work of joint authorship unless the producer and principal director are one and the same person. A broadcast is treated as a work of joint authorship where more than one person is to taken as making the broadcast.

Unknown Authorship
S. 9 (4) provides that a work is of "unknown authorship" if the identity of the author is unknown or, in the case of a work of joint authorship, if the identity of none of the authors is known. The identity of an author shall be regarded as unknown if it is not possible for a person to ascertain his identity by reasonable inquiry. However, should the author's identity once be known the authorship of the work shall not subsequently be regarded as unknown.


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