WHAT IS COPYRIGHT? Copyright is a legal right which grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. Owning copyright to a piece of work entitles the individual to royalties when their piece of work is reproduced by other people. A copyright gives the owner the right to sell, reproduce, perform or display the work, for both financial and non-financial gain.
WHAT CAN I PROTECT/REGISTER? Copyright gives the creator of an original work, in any medium, protection from that work being copied. This could be a book, poem, script, song lyrics, logo, melody, song, manual, database, diagram, sketch, painting, audio recording etc. For more specific information about what can and can’t be copyrighted see our section on Copyright Law.
HOW LONG DOES COPYRIGHT LAST FOR? In the UK, a piece of work created on or after January 1 1978 is protected by copyright for the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years after their death. Other countries may give shorter periods of protection, but usually not less than the life of the creator plus 50 years.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY COPYRIGHT HAS BEEN INFRINGED AND MY WORK IS REGISTERED WITH THE SCRIPT VAULT? We offer free initial advice to all our clients. If legal action is to follow we can put the writer/creator in contact with Solicitors who specialise in Copyright issues. N.B. The Writers’ Guild offers legal assistance to its members.
DOES THE WRITERS’ GUILD OF GREAT BRITAIN HAVE A COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION SERVICE? No, however The Script Vault is the only UK Copyright Registration Service approved by the Writers’ Guild.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON THE SIZE OF ATTACHMENT I CAN SEND TO THE SCRIPT VAULT? There is a 10mb restriction for online registrations, if your file is larger than this please email us for a price quote.
CAN I SEND HARD COPIES TO THE SCRIPT VAULT OR DO YOU JUST ACCEPT DIGITAL COPIES? For environmental reasons we no longer accept hard copies and can only accept digital copies of submitted work. Any hard copies previously registered with us will remain registered until the agreed registration period has expired.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO MY REGISTERED ITEM IF THE SCRIPT VAULT CEASED TRADING? The Script Vault was established in 2002 and since then we have been extremely successful in helping people protect their copyright. Following consultations and advice from the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, and to give our clients piece of mind, we have negotiated an agreement with a firm of solicitors who have given an undertaking that in the event of our company ceasing to trade, they will take possession of all items we are holding and will continue to store them until the end of the registration period.
IS MY COPYRIGHT REGISTERED AND PROTECTED FROM THE MOMENT YOU RECEIVE MY ITEM? Yes. The exact date and time your item is received is logged and in the event of a copyright or plagiarism dispute The Script Vault will corroborate the date of receipt and the name of the person who registered the work.