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The meaning of Joint Authorship


Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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5 October 2009

Sections 9(1) and 10(1) of the Copyrights Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended ("theAct") provides as follows:

9(1) "In this Part, 'author' in relation to a work, means the person who creates it"

10(1) "In this Part a work of joint authorship means 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."

It is important to remember that copyright exists, not in ideas, but the written expression of ideas. So if you are a joint owner you must

(1) be someone who collaborates with another author in the production of a work;

(2) both provide a significant creative input; and

(3) make a contribution which is not distinct from that of the other author.

What is essential is a direct responsibility for what actually appears (in the case of a literary work) on paper. It is common ground that joint authors hold copyright in the subject of the joint authorship as tenants in common entitled in equal shares.

Michael Coyle is a Solicitor Advocate and can be located at

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-10-16 19:59:59 in Legal Articles

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