WHAT IS COPYRIGHT?
Copyright is a legal right which grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. Copyright automatically exists once the individual has created their work in a tangible form, meaning that the copyright becomes the property of the individual who created the work as soon as they have written it down or recorded it in a tangible medium. Owning copyright to a piece of work entitles the individual to royalties when their piece of work is reproduced by other people. A copyright gives the owner the right to sell, reproduce, perform or display the work, for both financial and non-financial gain.
WHAT CAN I PROTECT/REGISTER?
Copyright gives the creator of an original work, in any medium, protection from that work being copied. This could be a book, poem, script, song lyrics, logo, melody, song, manual, database, diagram, sketch, painting, audio recording etc. For more specific information about what can and can’t be copyrighted see our section on Copyright Law.
HOW LONG DOES COPYRIGHT LAST FOR?
In the UK, a piece of work created on or after January 1 1978 is protected by copyright for the lifetime of the artist plus 70 years after their death. Other countries may give shorter periods of protection, but usually not less than the life of the artist plus 50 years.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY COPYRIGHT HAS BEEN INFRINGED AND MY WORK IS REGISTERED WITH THE SCRIPT VAULT?
We offer free initial advice to all our clients. If legal action is to follow we can put the writer in contact with Solicitors who specialise in Copyright issues. N.B. The Writers' Guild offers legal assistance to its members.
DOES THE WRITERS' GUILD OF GREAT BRTAIN REGISTER SCRIPTS?
No, however The Script Vault is the only UK Script Registration Service approved by the Writers' Guild of Great Britain.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON THE SIZE OF ATTACHMENT I CAN SEND TO THE SCRIPT VAULT?
There is a 20mb restriction for online registrations, although please bear in mind that emails containing large files (in excess of 10mb) are usually blocked by most ISPs as a virus protection measure. If you are sending a large size attachment please email us first in order to discuss this.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO MY SCRIPT IF THE SCRIPT VAULT CEASED TRADING?
The Script Vault was established in 2002, and for over fifteen years we have been extremely successful in helping writers protect their copyright. Following consultations and advice from the Writers' Guild of Great Britain, and to give our clients piece of mind, we've negotiated an agreement with a firm of solicitors who have given an undertaking that in the event of our company ceasing to trade, they will take possession of all scripts that we are holding and will continue to store them until the end of the registration period.