How copyright protects your work

4. Stop people using your work

You’re responsible for defending your copyright material against infringement.

Some people or organisations (such as libraries or schools) may be able to use copyright work without permission. You should check whether someone’s use of your work is permitted before trying to stop them.

If you think someone is using your work and they don’t know you own the rights

People or organisations must apply for a licence if they want to use a work that’s covered by copyright but don’t know who the rights holder is.

Check the licences register to see if anyone has licensed your work or is in the process of applying for a licence. If your work is on the register you can:

  • apply to have an application stopped
  • claim the licence fee that’s been paid (if a licence has already been issued)

If you have a dispute about licensing

Your collecting society can contact the Copyright Tribunal and ask them to decide on some disputes about licensing.

Copyright Tribunal copyright.tribunal@ipo.gov.uk
Telephone: 0207 034 2836
Fax: 0207 034 2826
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

They can also contact them by post.

The Secretary
Copyright Tribunal
4 Abbey Orchard Street
London
SW1P 2HT

The IPO Information Centre offers general advice on copyright law.

IPO Information Centre information@ipo.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 300 2000
Fax: 01633 817777
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

You can get advice on particular legal issues from an intellectual property (IP) professional.

You can also ask IPO to publish guidance about an area of copyright law.

They might publish a public ‘copyright notice’ if your question highlights a gap in the general copyright guidance.