Copyright FAQs

How do I protect my work?

Copyright does not have to be applied for and comes into force once there is a tangible record of the created material. Keeping copies of drafts (and other material showing your connection with the material during its development) is advisable and will be needed if you ever have to prove authorship.

What happens if I find out that someone has copied my work without my permission?

If you suspect that someone has copied your work without your permission then you should first contact them to try and resolve the issue. You should also contact your IP (Intellectual Property) Lead and inform them of the situation. Medipex may also be able to provide some advice.

I work for a large organisation. Who actually owns the copyright to my material?

Unless stated otherwise in your job contract, your employer will own the copyright to any material produced by you during the course of your employment with them.

Someone has recently contacted me and asked permission to use my training materials. What should I do?

You should contact Medipex as it is likely the trust will own the copyright to these materials.

What rights do sub-contractors have on material they have been paid to develop?

Prior to sub-contracting work, an agreement should be set up to ensure that the copyright on any work done by the subcontractor is owned by you. Otherwise, the sub-contractor may own the copyright on any material they have developed, thus preventing you from freely using the material.

I was part of a large project team that successfully developed a clinical database. Several of the team have moved elsewhere. What rights does everyone have to continue using the database?

Those members of the team which still work for the original employer have full rights to use the database, but those members of the team who have moved away, even if they were the project lead, may only use it for the purposes of private research / study with the permission of the owner of the database rights. It is also important to remember that any clinical information contained within the database will be covered by the Data Protection Act (1998).

I would like to publish a paper in a journal or publish my thesis. What effect does this have on ownership of copyright?

When publishing work in a journal it is important to find out whether the copyright remains with you (e.g. Nature Publishing Group) or whether it is transferred to the journal publishers (e.g. Wiley) with the original authors still holding certain rights to the article. A thesis is protected under copyright law as an unpublished work and requires permission of the copyright holder for publication, so if you wish to publish your thesis, you should check whether you hold the copyright to the thesis or whether it is owned by the body where the research for the thesis was carried out. Like publishing work in a journal, it is important to check whether you have to transfer ownership of copyright to the publisher or whether you will retain the ownership yourself.

Useful links

Further information or advice

Please contact Medipex on 0113 397 0830.