You must ask the owner if you want to copy a ‘creative work’, eg

  • a diary
  • a photograph
  • a film
  • music

If you don’t know who the owner is you might need an ‘orphan works licence’ to copy the work. You should:

  1. See if the work is covered by copyright - if it isn’t, you don’t need a licence to copy it.

  2. Read the copyright exceptions - if the work is covered by an exception, you don’t need a licence to copy it.

  3. Check if the work is covered by the EU Orphan Works Directive - you won’t need a licence if it is.

  4. Do a diligent search to see if you can find out who owns the work you want to copy - read the guidance on how to do a diligent search depending on whether it’s a literary, still visual art or film and sound work.

  5. Apply for a licence if the work isn’t covered by an exception or the EU Orphan Works Directive or you can’t find the owner - read the orphan works licence guidance to find out how to apply for a licence.