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Who Owns Copyright?

Generally, the first owner of copyright is the author of the work unless he/she has created the work as part of his/her employment, in which case the first owner of copyright will be the employer, which may be an individual or a company. In the case of a film, television programme or sound recording the first owner of copyright is generally deemed to be the person or entity that made the arrangements for the making of the film or recording. This is usually the producer or production company although may be the commissioning broadcaster.


Whenever programme-makers are including the creative works of others in programmes, they must obtain the consent of the copyright owner. Such consent should normally be in the form of a signed licence agreement which sets out the exact terms upon which the material in question can be used.