Copyright on Terms and Conditions

As soon as you’ve ‘created’ an original work you (or your employer or client depending on the situation) automatically own the copyright to it. All you need to be able to do is proove that your creation of the work pre-dates any later copy. You don’t need to go through any administrative process, nor do you need to add a copyright notice to your work.

Terms & Conditions, like anything else, are subject to copyright law. Anyone can adopt (for example) the RHA’s conditions – there’s no way they can stop you after all – but if they publish them (print them on the back of their invoices for example) or plagiarize them to the extent that the plagiarism is identifiable then they’ve breached the copyright.

Breach of copright is a civil Matter, so the only recourse is to sue the person/company that’s done the copying. I believe that once the copyright owner has informed the user of the copyright material that they’re breaching their copyright it becomes a CRIMINAL offence if they continue to do so.

Posted under Legal Issues

Posted by Alec at 10:37 am, July 26, 2006

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