UK Copyright Law and the Public Domain



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UK Copyright Law and the Public Domain

In this article we discuss United Kingdom copyright law, it varies from most other countries but is not difficult to understand.  This article relates mainly to books, other creative works, such as films and songs, music and software will be discussed in a future article.  For books, in the UK copyright typically extends to 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the creator died (not the same as 70 years since the creator's death), with some other restrictions as explained concisely in Writers' and Artists' Yearbook available from all main reference libraries.  The book also covers US and other world copyright issues.

Art is hugely popular among public domain enthusiasts, especially well known names, and particularly specializing in popular subjects.  For me, yes you've guessed it, that means dogs.  I sell original dog prints from well known artists like Maud Earl, K F Barker, and Cecil Aldin.

The UK's seventy year rule is great news for anyone keen to offer reprinted works of artist and writer Cecil Aldin who passed on, conveniently for our purposes, in 1935, seventy years ago.  He died on 6th January 1935 as my visit to showed on the first page of search results for 'Cecil Aldin died'.   

So the 70 year rule starts at the end of 1935, not on 6th January, 1935, and ends in the final seconds of 2005.   His works are hugely popular on eBay, I know because I sell them, but until now I've sold prints taken from books and magazines containing Aldin's stunning dog and animal prints. 

January 1st, 2006, found me selling reprints, items created by scanning an original book plate or print into my computer, arranging it neatly on an A4 template, reproducing it on quality art paper.  I have plates made with Aldin's wonderful designs, and keyrings, and pendants, and so much more it makes my mouth water.