Sun reflecting on RPC building.

Copyright rules in the United Kingdom

Published on 23 January 2018

Get to grips with the framework of copyright law in the United Kingdom with the 2018 TerraLex Cross-Border Copyright Guide.

What are the main sources of copyright law in the United Kingdom?

The main source of copyright legislation in the UK is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988. The CDPA replaced the Copyright Act 1956, which in turn replaced the Copyright Act 1911. Those previous Acts are still applied today where a work was created at a time when those Acts were in force.

As a common law legal system, the UK also relies on case law to interpret and set precedents in law. As a result, there are a number of judicial decisions that contribute to the sources of copyright law in the UK.

To find out more about subsistence of copyright, ownership, infringement, remedies, enforcement and copyright reform in the United Kingdom, download the full chapter below.