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Copyright Act 1956

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2Copyright in literary, dramatic and musical works

(1)Copyright shall subsist, subject to the provisions of this Act, in every original literary, dramatic or musical work which is unpublished, and of which the author was a qualified person at the time when the work was made, or, if the making of the work extended over a period, was a qualified person for a substantial part of that period.

(2)Where an original literary, dramatic or musical work has been published, then, subject to the provisions of this Act, copyright shall subsist in the work (or, if copyright in the work subsisted immediately before its first publication, shall continue to subsist) if, but only if,—

(a)the first publication of the work took place in the United Kingdom, or in another country to which this section extends, or

(b)the author of the work was a qualified person at the time when the work was first published, or

(c)the author had died before that time, but was a qualified person immediately before his death.

(3)Subject to the last preceding subsection, copyright subsisting in a work by virtue of this section shall continue to subsist until the end of the period of fifty years from the end of the calendar year in which the author died, and shall then expire:

Provided that if before the death of the author none of the following acts had been done, that is to say,—

(a)the publication of the work,

(b)the performance of the work in public,

(c)the offer for sale to the public of records of the work, and

(d)the broadcasting of the work,

the copyright shall continue to subsist until the end of the period of fifty years from the end of the calendar year which includes the earliest occasion on which one of those acts is done.

(4)In the last preceding subsection references to the doing of any act in relation to a work include references to the doing of that act in relation to an adaptation of the work.

(5)The acts restricted by the copyright in a literary, dramatic or musical work are—

(a)reproducing the work in any material form ;

(b)publishing the work;

(c)performing the work in public ;

(d)broadcasting the work ;

(e)causing the work to be transmitted to subscribers to a diffusion service;

(f)making any adaptation of the work;

(g)doing, in relation to an adaptation of the work, any of the acts specified in relation to the work in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection.

(6)In this Act" adaptation "—

(a)in relation to a literary or dramatic work, means any of the following, that is to say,—

(i)in the case of a non-dramatic work, a version of the work (whether in its original language or a different language) in which it is converted into a dramatic work;

(ii)in the case of a dramatic work, a version of the work (whether in its original language or a different language) in which it is converted into a, non-dramatic work;

(iii)a translation of the work ;

(iv)a version of the work in which the story or action is conveyed wholly or mainly by means of pictures in a form suitable for reproduction in a book, or in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical; and

(b)in relation to a musical work, means an arrangement or transcription of the work,

so however that the mention of any matter in this definition shall not affect the generality of paragraph (a) of the last preceding subsection.

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