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Thursday, 2nd April 2015

UK: Copyright Notice: Public Exhibition of Copyright Works

Source: Intellectual Property Office (UK) via GOV.UK

In the UK, public exhibition is not an act restricted by copyright. This means that it is not an infringement of copyright to put a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work on public display (for example, in a display cabinet in a museum or gallery).

Despite it being lawful to exhibit a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, it would usually be an infringement of copyright to perform such a work in public. This means that, although a musical or dramatic work in the form of writing or notation can be put on display (for example, the script of a play or a piece of sheet music), the public performance of such a work would be restricted by copyright. The term “performance” would include delivery of the work in lectures, addresses, speeches or sermons, as well as any mode of visual or acoustic presentation.

Likewise, playing or showing a sound recording, film or broadcast in a public place would usually be an infringement of copyright.

However, certain exceptions to the public performance right exist. For example, educational establishments are permitted to perform, play or show copyright works without infringing copyright, provided it is done for the purposes of instruction and the audience is solely composed of individuals directly connected to the establishment (namely staff and students).

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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