Paternity rights

Paternity rights

Contents

Paternity rights

The author of a copyright literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or the director of a copyright film has the right to be identified as the author or director of the work – these are known as paternity rights.

Literary and dramatic works

The author of a literary work (other than words intended to be sung or spoken with music) or a dramatic work has the right to be identified whenever:

  • the work is published commercially, performed in public or communicated to the public; or
  • copies of a film or sound recording including the work are issued to the public.

That right includes the right to be identified whenever any of those events occur in relation to an adaptation of the work as the author of the work from which the adaptation was made.

Musical works

The author of a musical work, or a literary work consisting of words intended to be sung or spoken with music, has the right to be identified whenever:

  • the work is published commercially;
  • copies of a sound recording of the work are issued to the public; or
  • a film in which the soundtrack includes the work is shown in public or copies of such a film are issued to the public.

That right includes the right to be identified whenever any of those events occur in relation to an adaptation of the work as the author of the work from which the adaptation was made.

Artistic works

The author of an artistic work has the right to be identified whenever:

  • the work is published commercially or exhibited in public, or a visual image of it is communicated to the public;
  • a film including a visual image of the work is shown in public or copies of such a film are issued to the public; or
  • in the case of a work of architecture in the form of a building or a model for a building, a sculpture or a work of artistic craftsmanship, copies of a graphic work representing it, or of a photograph of it, are issued to the public.

Films

The director of a film has the right to be identified whenever the film is:

  • shown in public;
  • communicated to the public; or

copies of the film are issued to the public.

Asserting paternity rights

This right cannot be infringed if the author or director has not 'asserted' it.

The right may be asserted:

  • on an assignment of copyright in the work, by including in the assignment document a statement that the author or director asserts in relation to that work their right to be identified. The assignee and anyone claiming through them, whether or not they have notice of the assertion, is bound by an assertion made in this way; or
  • by any other document signed by the author or director. Anyone to whose notice the assertion is brought is bound by an assertion made in this way.

The right may also be asserted in relation to the public exhibition of an artistic work:

  • by securing that when the author or other first owner of copyright parts with possession of the original, or of a copy made by them or under their direction or control, the author is identified on the original or copy, or on a frame, mount or other thing to which it is attached. Anyone into whose hands the original or copy comes, whether or not the identification is still present or visible, is bound by an assertion made in this way; or
  • by including in a licence by which the author or other first owner of copyright authorises the making of copies of the work a statement signed by or on behalf of the person granting the licence that the author asserts their right to be identified in the event of the public exhibition of a copy made under the licence. The licensee and anyone into whose hands a copy made under the licence comes, whether or not they have notice of the assertion, is bound by an assertion made in this way.

Exclusions

The right does not apply in relation to the following descriptions of work:

  • a computer program;
  • the design of a typeface;
  • any computer-generated work.

The right does not apply to anything done by or with the authority of the copyright owner where copyright in the work originally vested in the author's or director's employer because it was produced in the course of employment.

The right does not apply in relation to any work made for the purpose of reporting current events.

The right does not apply in relation to the publication in:

  • a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, or
  • an encyclopaedia, dictionary, yearbook or other collective work of reference, of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work made for the purposes of such publication or made available with the consent of the author for the purposes of such publication.

The right does not apply in relation to a work in which Crown copyright or Parliamentary copyright exists unless the author or director has previously been identified as such in or on published copies of the work.

The right is not infringed by an act which would not infringe copyright in the work because, for example:

  • it represented fair dealing (so far as it relates to the reporting of current events by means of a sound recording, film or broadcast);
  • it involved merely an incidental inclusion of work in an artistic work, sound recording, film or broadcast; or
  • it was done for the purpose of parliamentary or judicial proceedings or for the purposes of the proceedings of a Royal Commission or statutory inquiry.

Copyright © 2020 Epoq Group Ltd. All trademarks acknowledged, all rights reserved

This website is operated by Epoq Legal Ltd, company number 3707955, whose registered office is at 2 Imperial Place, Maxwell Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 1JN. Epoq Legal Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 645296).