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Copyright - are you aware how easy it is?

Last week one of my clients requested that I research how to copyright their training documents. I thought this may be something which some of you may have been meaning to review yourselves for perhaps your own training course materials.


You might think that having something like this will involve Solicitors and be costly. It can have a cost to it if you involve agencies to act for you – and I suppose it really depends on how sensitive your material is. However, the UK Government states that there are no costs involved to insert the copyright symbol on to your own created work.

Even though this symbol may not be shown, if the piece of work has been created by an author then it is automatically under the Copyright law. However, it is advisable to include the symbol so others know that copyright exists.

So you can use an agency to record the date they receive your documentation but each document emailed or sent through the postal system to them, will have a cost. They will date stamp when they receive your work, and any amendments to the documents are forwarded to them separately and will have a further cost.

UK.Gov sets out what you should do which has no cost involved.

You can only Copyright the work you have created and if using examples taken from elsewhere then you should give acknowledgement to the author of these.

Your document should have (usually at the footer of the page) the words Copyright © 2016. By writing the word “Copyright” this is acknowledged internationally, however, if you just put the symbol © then some countries may recognise this too, but not all of them.

You can find the copyright symbol in the Symbol tab or you can simply type ( c ) – with no spaces, it will transfer to the symbol ©. It is important to place a year at the side to indicate when your documents have been created. This is useful in case of infringement.

If you are using sub-contractors/freelancers to create material for you, don't forget that they are the authors of the document and not your own company. In this case you need a signed document from the sub-contractor to sign over the copyright to your company. Or you make reference within the copyright notice the name of the author(s).

Don't forget too that content on your website will need to have the copyright symbol included too, as described above with a year range of creation to the last date of update.

Record the finalized documents with an unique number and date so you can establish when the updates have taken place.

UK.Gov also gives you guidelines on how to copyright videos etc. which is explained in the link to their website so you can check for yourself the procedures.

Hope this has been helpful to some of you.

Take Care

Kath | 07918 667509



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