How long copyright lasts
Copyright protection starts as soon as a work is created. Once your copyright has expired, anyone can use or copy your work.
The length of copyright depends on the type of work.
|Type of work||How long copyright usually lasts|
|Written, dramatic, musical and artistic work||70 years after the author’s death|
|Sound and music recording||70 years from when it’s first published|
|Films||70 years after the death of the director, screenplay author and composer|
|Broadcasts||50 years from when it’s first broadcast|
|Layout of published editions of written, dramatic or musical works||25 years from when it’s first published|
The length of copyright also depends on how long ago the work was created.
Contact the IPO Information Centre if you have questions about the copyright of an older work.