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All text on this wiki is available under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). You can copy, modify and redistribute any of the content of this wiki as long as you comply with this license. Amongst other things, this means that you must acknowledge the authors of the original article and release your modified version under the GFDL.

Contributors to this wiki own the copyright in any text they contribute. In making their contributions, they have agreed to license them under the GFDL. The FR Heritage Group does not own the copyright for any of the content and cannot give permission for content to be reproduced. However, you do not need permission to reproduce the content of this wiki provided you conform to the requirements of the GFDL.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
Content on this wiki is covered by disclaimers.

The English text of the GFDL is the only legally binding document. The comments below are for guidance only, based on our interpretation of the GFDL. They are not authoritative and should not be treated as legal guidance. If you are in any doubt, you should seek legal advice.

Reusers' rights and obligations

You can reuse material from this wiki in any form provided you adhere to the conditions set out in the GFDL. Section 2 covers verbatim copying, i.e. reproducing material unaltered. If you produce a modified version of the material, you must comply with the conditions in section 4, including:

  • licensing your materials under the GFDL (section 4, preamble),
  • listing the principle authors of the article (section 4B),
  • adding a copyright notice for your modifications (section 4E),
  • displaying a license notice in the prescribed form (section 4F),
  • providing users/purchasers with the full text of the GFDL (section 4H).

The above list is not exhaustive. Including a link to the article on this website goes some way to satisfying the requirements of the GFDL but may not be sufficient. The Heritage Group does not guarantee to keep authorship information and transparent copies of articles indefinitely.

Contributor's rights and obligations

Any contributions you make will be licensed under the GFDL. You must not make contributions unless:

  • you produced the material you are contributing yourself, or
  • you own the copyright in the material, or
  • the copyright owner has placed the material in the public domain or licensed it under GFDL.

If you own the copyright, publishing the material on this wiki will not alter that fact. You can still do whatever you want with the material, including republishing and relicensing it. However, any version you place on the wiki will be available under the GFDL forever. You cannot retract that license.

If you use material which is licensed elsewhere under GFDL, you must list at least five of the principle authors of the material (or all of them if there are fewer than five) and include a reference to the original copy. If the orginal copy is on the internet, you should include its URL. There may be other conditions with which you have to comply. Please check carefully any conditions set down in the original material.

Under UK law (which is more fully explained below), all works are copyright unless the copyright holder has placed them in the public domain. In some circumstances, usage of a small portion of a copyright work may be acceptable as "fair use". Alternatively, you may be able to get permission from the copyright holder to use their material under the terms of the GFDL. In either case, you must record this along with names and dates.

Note that copyright applies to the words used to express an idea, not the idea itself. You have not infringed copyright if you read a copyright work then reproduce the information in your own words. However, be careful that your words are not too similar to the original. Simply swapping the words around a little is not enough to avoid infringing copyright. If you do reformulate a copyright work in this way, you should cite the original as a reference.

Never infringe copyright. To do so is a criminal offence and could cause serious problems for this wiki. It is always safest to write it yourself. If it comes out of your head, you haven't infringed anyone's copyright.

Linking to copyright works

Note that you do not need to get permission before linking to external websites carrying copyright material. However, you should not link to a website you believe to be violating copyright.

UK copyright law

This wiki is hosted on servers located in the UK and is operated by a UK-based organisation. It is therefore subject to UK law. What follows is a summary of UK copyright law. It is not authoritative and should not be treated as legal guidance.

In the UK, copyright covers:

  • original literary, dramatic, artistic or musical works
  • published editions of literary, dramatic or musical works. The "typographical arrangement" is protected under this heading, not the work itself
  • sound recordings
  • films
  • broadcasts

There is no test of artistic merit, so "literary work" includes instruction manuals, computer programs and databases, whilst "artistic work" includes technical drawings, photographs, maps, etc.

As stated above, copyright covers the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. If you write a novel, it is open to other authors to produce their own novel using the same plot as long as they do not copy your words. Similarly, names and titles are not protected by copyright. Material you find on the internet is protected by copyright. Note that any work which is copyright in the country in which it was produced is automatically copyright in the UK as well under the Berne convention.

You cannot breach copyright by accident. If someone independently produces a novel which is word for word identical to yours, they have not breached your copyright. Of course, it is highly unlikely that this would ever happen. It would therefore be assumed that the other author had copied your work unless they could prove otherwise.


Note that copyright exists automatically in the UK. You do not have to register your work in order for it to be protected by copyright, nor do you have to display the copyright symbol or any other notice.

Who owns copyright

In most cases, copyright in a work initially belongs to the author. However, if they produced the work in the course of their employment, copyright will normally belong to their employer. The "authors" of a film are the producer and principle director. The "author" of a sound recording is the record producer, broadcaster or publisher.

Ownership of copyright can be transferred, e.g. by sale or inheritance.

How long does copyright last

How long a copyright work is protected depends on the type of work. If the work was created outside the UK and the European Economic Area (the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), it may be protected for a shorter time depending on the law in the country of creation.

In general terms:

  • For literary, dramatic, artistic or musical works, copyright expires 70 years from the end of the year in which the author died. If there were several authors, it expires 70 years from the end of the year in which the last surviving author died.
  • Different terms apply for sound recordings, films, and broadcasts. These are not detailed here.
  • For published editions (where the typographical arrangement is protected), copyright expires 25 years from the end of the year in which the edition was published.
  • For photographs, it depends when the photograph was taken:
    • Copyright has expired for any photograph taken before 1st January 1945 unless it was protected in another EEA state on 1st July 1995. Most photographs will not be specifically protected in other EEA states.
    • For photographs taken after 1st January 1945, protection expires 70 years from the end of the year in which the author (usually the photographer) dies. If the authorship of the photograph is unknown, copyright expires 70 years from the end of the year in which it was taken unless the photograph is made available to the public during that time, in which case copyright expires 70 years from the end of the year in which it was made public.
    • In some circumstances, a longer term could apply to photographs taken before 1st January 1996.
  • For works subject to Crown Copyright, copyright expires 50 years from the end of the year in which the work was first published.

Fair use

The UK law on fair use is very different from the US law. Do not rely on statements in Wikipedia concerning fair use. In the UK, limited use of copyright works may be possible for a number of purposes, including non-commercial research and private study, criticism or review and reporting current events.

Copyright Permissions

Whilst most of the material presented on this wiki, has been authored by the person entering the information, much is also taken from other sources. We endeavour to record these and any permissions that may be granted. These can be found at Festipedia:Copyright Permissions

Copyright infringements

If you are the owner of the copyright in any content that is being used on this wiki without your permission, please post a message on Festipedia:Copyright violation including evidence to support your claim of ownership.