Permitted development rights uk: Permitted development rights for householders: technical guidance

Permitted Development Rights – Planning Permission

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You can perform certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called “permitted development rights”.

They derive from a general planning permission granted not by the local authority but by Government. Bear in mind that the permitted development rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings. Similarly, commercial properties have different permitted development rights to dwellings.

In some areas of the country, known generally as ‘designated areas’, permitted development rights are more restricted. For example, if you live in:

  • a Conservation Area
  • a National Park
  • an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • a World Heritage Site or
  • the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads.

You will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas.  There are also different requirements if the property is a listed building.

The Planning Portal’s general advice is that you should contact your Local Planning Authority and discuss your proposal before any work begins. They will be able to inform you of any reason why the development may not be permitted and if you need to apply for planning permission for all or part of the work.

A planning consultant may help with the smooth running of your project and guide you on your permitted development requirements. To find an accurate consultancy quote, explore Studio Charrette’s calculators1.


Permitted development rights withdrawn

You should also note that the local planning authority may have removed some of your permitted development rights by issuing an ‘Article 4’ direction. This will mean that you have to submit a planning application for work which normally does not need one.

Article 4 directions are made when the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened. They are most common in conservation areas. You will probably know if your property is affected by such a direction, but you can check with the Local Planning Authority if you are not sure.

Please note: Houses and flats created through permitted development rights (including changes of use) usually cannot subsequently use householder permitted development rights for additional development (e.g. an extension). Planning Permission is usually required. You are advised to contact your Local Planning Authority to discuss any such matters before starting work.

Prior approval

Most permitted development rights are subject to conditions and limitations.

One such condition on certain classes of permitted development is the need to apply to the Local Planning Authority for its ‘Prior Approval’; or to determine if its ‘Prior Approval’ will be required.

This allows the Local Planning Authority to consider the proposals, their likely impacts in regard to certain factors (e. g. transport and highways) and how these may be mitigated.

Find out more about the ‘Prior Approval’ consent type2.

Protected development

From the start of August 2021, changes to legislation come into force that, in a few specific circumstances, mean that what was to be considered eligible as permitted development up to the end of July 2021, will no longer be.

In these circumstances, Government has implemented a provision3 that classifies these proposals as ‘protected development’ to ensure that for a further year, until the end of July 2022, they can continue to be considered eligible for permitted development rights.

This is achieved by allowing ‘protected development’ proposals to utilise the legislation as it stood prior to the August 2021 changes.

By doing so, it will allow these proposals to begin (or for relevant prior approval applications to be submitted) up to the end of July 2022, and be progressed to completion on that basis.

My proposal is ‘protected development’, what should I do?

The Planning Portal content and application service has been updated to comply with the August 2021 permitted development changes.

However, we also recognise that certain proposals will qualify for the ‘protected development’ provision.

As per our general advice, it is recommended you discuss your proposals with the Local Planning Authority, in this case, to confirm if the ‘protected development’ provision applies.

If it does, and an application for prior approval needs to be made, we are covering this off in the content of our prior approval applications as well as maintaining several redundant types of prior approval application that can continue to be used in such cases.


The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 20154 is the principal order.

The Order sets out classes of development for which a grant of planning permission is automatically given, provided that no restrictive condition is attached or that the development is exempt from the permitted development rights.

An explanatory memorandum5 (PDF) is also available that details the purpose, legislative background and policy context of the order.

The order has been subject to numerous amendments, view details of all such amendments6.

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    A guide to permitted development rules: What you need to know

    Permitted development rules and regulations give homeowners the right to build extensions and make certain changes to their homes without the need to go through the planning permission process. In this guide, we explore the rules that apply in England.

    What are permitted development rights?

    As a homeowner, you can carry out certain types of work on your house without the need for planning permission. These are called ‘permitted development rights’.

    Any building work done within permitted development will need to meet certain standards and criteria limiting the maximum size of extensions and loft conversions.

    Luckily, these limits are quite generous. There’s a lot you can do to maximise your living space and improve your home without the need to go through planning permission.

    In this Ultimate Guide, we’ll be taking a look at what home extension and renovation projects you can do under permitted development rights in England.

    Development rights in devolved nations

    Development is governed by parliament rather than local authorities, and different rules apply in each of the devolved nations – you can check what permitted development rules apply in your area using the links below:

    • Scotland
    • Northern Ireland
    • Wales
    • England

    Using your homes permitted development rights means you don’t have to go through planning permission for small changes that can have a big impact. Kitchen extension by FMB member Forest Lofts Ltd, London.

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    What can I do under permitted development rules?

    Limits apply which will restrict both the size of your extension and its outward appearance. This is because permitted development comes with a strict set of rules to make sure developments are in keeping with the local streetscape. They also make sure there’s no negative impact to your immediate neighbours – so your new extension or conversion doesn’t block their light, for example.

    Here’s a list of the rules that apply to permitted development projects in England:

    This covers any extension across the rear elevation of your property. From side-return extensions to extensions that span the full width of your house.

    Maximum depth:

    Single storey rear extensions can come out by up to 3 metres for semi-detached, terraced and link-detached houses, and by 4 metres for a detached house, based on the original plans of the building, or as it stood on 1 July 1948 if older.

    You can apply for prior approval for rear extensions up to 6 metres for semi-detached, terraced and link-detached houses, or by up to 8 metres for a detached house. This needs to be done before work starts. Your local authority will consult with your neighbours and decide whether prior approval is required before work can go ahead. Factors that can influence their decision include your neighbours’ ‘right to light’.

    Maximum height:

    No more than 4 metres. Any part of the roof falling within 2 metres of your neighbours’ boundaries must be a maximum height of 3 metres.

    Maximum area:

    Rear extensions must not come out further than the side of the house, and you can’t cover more than half of the land around the original dwelling (including outbuildings and sheds). The extension also must not come within 7 metres of the rear property boundary.


    Your choice of materials must be similar in appearance to the original house.

    If you need extra bedroom space, you might be surprised to hear that a two-story extension may be perfectly achievable under permitted development. Here’s what you need to know:

    Where can you build?

    Two storey extensions can only be built off your property’s rear elevation, but not the side or front elevations.

    Maximum depth:

    You can extend a maximum of 3 metres from rear elevation on semi-detached, terrace or link-detached house, or up to 4 for a detached house.

    Maximum height:

    The height of the roof ridge and eaves can’t exceed the height of the ridge and eaves on the original house. Any part of the roof falling within 2 metres of your neighbours’ boundaries must be a maximum height of 3 metres.

    Maximum area:

    The extension (including any existing extensions and outbuildings) can’t exceed more than 50% of the total land around the house.


    The pitch of the roof should be the same style as the existing roof and tiles and other externals materials should match. The pitch of the new roof should also match the existing house. Any second storey windows must be obscured glass and their opening parts must be at least 1. 7 metres above the floor.

    Double height rear extension on a semi-detached property, completed by FMB member Interprove Limited, Buckinghamshire.



    You can add extra downstairs living space to your house with a side extension. However, two storey side extensions don’t fall under permitted development rules. Let’s take a look at what’s achievable without going through planning permission:

    Maximum width:

    Side extensions must not exceed half the width of the original house.

    Maximum depth:

    The side extension can extend out further than the back of the house, projecting into the back garden by up to 3 metres for a semi-detached, terraced or link-detached house, or 4 metres if detached, based on the original plans of the building, or as it stood on 1st July 1948 if older.

    Maximum height

    The highest point of the roof can’t exceed is 4 metres. Any part of the roof falling within 2 metres of your neighbours’ boundaries must be a maximum height of 3 metres.

    Property boundary:

    There’s no restriction to how close you can go to the boundary with your neighbours, although it is always wise to talk to them about your plans first.

    Wrap around:

    Full width wrap around extensions aren’t allowed under permitted development rights. But a partial wrap around is permitted, provided the total width of the extension at its widest point does not exceed half the width of the original building.


    Your choice of materials must be similar in appearance to the original house.

    There are a few different types of loft conversion. These include:

    • Roof lights only – this is the most straight forward option, which usually this involves interior changes only, with the simple addition of Velux-style windows to the existing roof
    • Dormer conversion
    • Hip-to-gable conversions
    • Mansard conversions
    • L-shaped

    One or more different types of loft conversion can be used in a single project (for example, dormer windows can lend extra head hight to mansard or hip to gable conversions). The following regulations apply to them all:

    Street view:

    Dormers can’t be built on the front elevation of the house under permitted development (this is usually the side that faces the street). The only change at the front can be rooflights (Velux-style windows) which can project up to 15cm from the roof surface.

    Maximum height:

    Loft conversions can’t be higher than the highest point of the current roof.

    Maximum volume:

    The total increase in roof volume can’t exceed 50 cubic metres for a detached or semi-detached house, or 40 cubic metres for a terrace. Dormers must be set back a minimum of 20cm from the eaves.


    The loft staircase must have at least 2 metres head height clearance.


    New windows on the side of the house must be frosted and their opening parts must be at least 1.7m from the floor. Balconies or verandas are not permitted, but Juliet balconies that have no platform are allowed. New roof tiles and windows must match existing.

    If you’re ready to extend into your roof, read our ultimate guides to loft conversions and party wall agreements. 

    Dormer loft conversion project by FMB member Master Builder York Builder Ltd, North Yorkshire.



    If you’re planning to extend into your garage to create a bedroom or living area and most of the work will be internal, it should be achievable under permitted development rules. When replacing your garage door and installing new windows, you’ll need to take care to use similar materials to the existing house.

    Where planning permission would need to be considered is if you’re converting the garage into a separate dwelling (including annexes for family members) or increasing its footprint.

    It’s also worth noting that permitted development rights for garages may have been removed from some new-build properties and in some conservation areas it may be worth checking with your local authority’s planning department before making any changes.

    If you want to get started on converting your garage, check out our ultimate guide to garage converisons for some useful tips.


    No extension can come forward past the line of the principal elevation – that’s usually the side of the house that faces the street. For example, you can’t add a new bay window without going through planning permission.

    The only permitted development allowed on the front elevation is a porch with a maximum footprint of 3 square metres and no more than 3 metres in height. It must also be set back at least 2 metres from the boundaries of your property and from the road.

    Garden rooms and outbuildings

    Garden rooms are classed as ‘outbuildings’ and can be built under permitted development rules. The rules for outbuildings cover structures that are within your property boundaries but not attached to your house. This includes garages, summer houses, and sheds, as well as less obvious buildings like tennis courts, swimming pools, ponds and containers used for heating oil.   

    Adding a practical porch can be done under permitted development. Project by FMB member J C Building Services, Cumbria.



    Outbuildings can’t be built more forward than the front elevation of your property (the front wall of your house).

    Maximum height:

    They can be up to 4 metres high if they have a dual pitched roof, or up to 3 metres with other types of roof, eg a flat roof.  Any part of the roof falling within 2 metres of your neighbours’ boundaries must be a maximum height of 3 metres.

    Maximum area:

    The outbuilding must not exceed more than half of the original footprint of your house when it was built or on 1 July 1948, if it was built before then.


    Decking around your outbuilding is fine, but you cannot build verandas or raised platforms above 0.3 metres in height.

    Designated areas and protected buildings:

    In National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads and World Heritage Sites, the maximum area covered by all outbuildings that are more than 20 metres from the house is limited to 10 metres.

    If you’re on designated land, any outbuildings to the side of your house will need to go through planning permission.

    Updating the external appearance of your house with render or cladding is usually allowed under permitted development rules, provided the materials you use are of a similar appearance to those used in the original construction of your house.

    However, altering the outer fabric of your home can impact both its safety and its thermal insulation properties – which means you will need to obtain a building regulations certificate if:

    • More than 25% of an external wall is re-rendered, re-clad, re-plastered or re-lined internally
    • More than 25% of the external leaf wall is rebuilt
    • If you’re adding cavity wall insulation (formaldehyde gas emissions will need to be checked)

    It’s important to note that cladding needs to meet fire safety standards, and you may need to upgrade the thermal insulation performance of your walls to meet building regulations.

    To obtain a building regulations certificate, submit either a building notice or full plans via the Planning Portal before any work begins.

    If you’re planning to change the appearance of your home with render or cladding, or you live in either a listed building or designated area, then you will need to submit an application for planning permission.

    If you want to dip your toes into the world of property development, Class MA (‘Mercantile to Abode’) may be of interest. This piece of legislation made waves in 2015, making it easier to convert empty Class E commercial premises, such as offices, restaurants, shops and gyms into new homes without planning permission. These still need prior approval from the local planning authority and need to meet certain criteria including:

    • The floor space isn’t over 1,500 square metres.
    • The property must have been Class E for at least two years before your application, and empty for at least 3 months.
    • It must not be a listed building, scheduled monument, in a National Park or Site of Special Scientific Interest or other designated areas (although it can be within a conservation area – rules apply).
    Class E premises include:
    • Most retail (excludes some smaller shops in isolated areas that sell ‘essentials’)
    • Offices, financial and professional services buildings
    • Restaurants and cafés
    • Doctor’s surgeries, medical centres, creches and nurseries
    • Indoor sports and recreation centres

    Another option that’s perhaps more geared towards developers or those quite literally ‘thinking outside the box’ is the possibility of using permitted development rights to add a whole extra floor, or even two, to your property. There’s the option of increasing the existing living space or building a separate flat on the roof of your building.

    What’s achievable depends on several factors, including the use of the original building (whether it’s residential or commercial) , so it’s advisable to speak to either an architect or consultant on the matter before starting to plan. The general rules that apply are:

    • If the existing building is detached and multi-story, you can add two additional storeys on top. (Existing accommodation in the roof space of the existing house, including a loft extension, is not considered as a storey.)
    • The total maximum height of the building must not exceed 18 metres.
    • If the building is part of a terrace, the extension can’t be more than 3.5m higher than the next tallest terrace.
    • Windows on the side elevation or the sides of the roof are not permitted.


    Before you go ahead

    Whilst the information above gives you an indication of what can be achieved when you use permitted development rights, it doesn’t replace the need to check the guidance from your local authority planning department – to make sure you’re following the regulations and processes that apply for your property and the area you live in. You can start your conversation by visiting the Planning Portal.

    What can’t be done under the rules of permitted development?

    There are some situations where you will need to submit an application for planning permission. You can read more about the planning process in our ultimate guide to planning permission, or visit the Planning Portal website. Permitted development rights do not apply to the following buildings:

    Flats and Maisonettes

    For example, if you want to convert the loft in your top floor maisonette or add an extension to a ground floor flat.

    Houses in designated areas

    More restricted permitted development rules apply to what planners refer to as ‘designated areas’. These include:

    • Conservation areas
    • National parks
    • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
    • World Heritage Sites
    • The Norfolk or Suffolk Broads

    Local authorities also have the right to limit permitted development rights for certain areas by issuing an ‘Article 4 direction’ – which refers to Article 4 of the GDPO. This might happen for instance, if they want to preserve the character of an area.  

    Some newer homes

    Occasionally, newer houses will have their permitted development rights removed as a condition of planning consent when they are built.

    Listed buildings

    Different rules apply, and you’ll need to obtain listed building consent.

    If you’ve used up your permitted development rights

    Buildings that have already been extended may have used up part or all of their permitted development rights during their history. You can extend your home more than once, but the total size of all extensions added to the original building as it stood on 1 July 1948 (the date modern planning regulations were introduced) can’t exceed the current limits.  

    Wrap-around extensions

    This popular type of extension is not covered by permitted development rights due to their large size. However, a side-extension can partially wrap around your house under certain circumstances.

    If your property has already been extended, it may still be possible to extend again under permitted development rights. Loft conversion project by Mitre Peak Lofts Ltd, London.



    How do I comply with permitted development rules?

    Using permitted development rights doesn’t remove the need for paperwork – you still need to demonstrate the extent of your build and provide plans to your local planning department. You’ll also need to obtain the following documents to sign off your building work:

    • Building regulations certificate – applies to all buildings.
    • Party wall agreements – if your property is not detached.
    • Right to light report – from a surveyor, If your neighbours are concerned that your building work may block their light.
    • Build Over Agreement – from your local water authority, if you’re building near a sewer.

    Lawful Development Certificates

    It’s also a good idea to obtain a Lawful Development Certificate. Although not compulsory, this can be a helpful document to have if, for example, you need to sell your property and prove that the building work you’ve done meets planning regulations.

    You can apply online for a Lawful Development Certificate via the Planning Portal. You’ll need to submit drawings for your council to consider, and an application fee applies. You can usually expect to receive your certificate within 8-10 weeks. You’ll need:

    • Drawings of the existing building – Showing what the property looks like before work starts.
    • Drawings of the proposed building – Showing what the property will look like with the new extension.
    • Site Plan and Location Plan – So the council can find your property on a map and check what regs apply in your area.

    Building plans are needed to obtain a Lawful Development Certificate.

    Find a Builder

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    UK Copyright – COPYTRUST

    UK copyright traditionally protects not only the rights and legitimate interests of a particular author or his successor, but also the protection of commercial circulation. Let’s see how this legal system manages to combine the private interests of authors with the interests of business and the state, without losing the essence of copyright.

    History of UK copyright

    The law of the United Kingdom is case law, it is determined by the application not only of the norms of laws, but also of court decisions in specific cases. The law of the entire Anglo-Saxon legal system has long traditions and roots. Rules protecting the rights of book publishers and authors first appeared at the beginning of the 8th century. In 1710, the Statute of Queen Anne was issued – a set of rules that is recognized by legal scholars as the first copyright law.

    This document was born at a time when there were already rules for the protection of intellectual property – patents for inventions: the world’s first patent law appeared in 1474 in Venice, then the Statute of Patents was adopted in England in 1623.

    The main problem of the Statute of 1710 was the absence of the very concept of “copyright”, and the term of the exclusive right to works lasted only 14 years.

    A new codified law replacing the Statute of Queen Anne was passed in 1814. The next milestone in the development of copyright law is considered to be the Imperial Copyright Act 1911 years old This document already explicitly states that the work of a particular person, embodied in a physical form – a painting, a novel, an architectural scheme, a piece of music, etc. – Protected by copyright. The term of copyright, according to the law of 1911, was the entire life of the author and 50 years after his death.

    In the 19th and 20th centuries, Great Britain took an active part in the development of international acts in the field of copyright, bringing all the accumulated experience in protecting the results of intellectual activity into the global legal system. It was the United Kingdom that became one of the authors of the Berne Convention of 1886, an important international document, as well as the Universal Copyright Convention of 1952 years old.

    The basis of modern norms in the field of copyright in this country was laid down by a law of 1988, which is still in force today with amendments and additions.

    So, we see that English copyright has developed and perfected over the centuries, the authors of England received protection through improved norms, the laws became more and more complicated.

    Peculiarities of UK copyright

    Let us single out several features of the copyright of this country in comparison with the law of other states.

    Perhaps the first and main feature of the regulation of legal relations in the field of copyright in the UK is the criterion by which the result of creative work is granted legal protection. And such a criterion in the UK is the originality of the work. While in most legal systems of the world there is a tendency to simplify the requirements for works subject to copyright protection, English law takes into account the labor expended by the author on the creation of the work, evaluates the contribution of the skills and intellectual efforts of the author and correlates this with the originality of the result.

    For example, legal protection can be granted to the creator of television programs if he has spent enough effort, labor, mental expenditure on their arrangement and at the same time a result has been obtained that was not there before, that is, such work meets the criterion of originality.

    This criterion is not key in all countries. For example, in France there is a case law that indicates that legal protection can be granted to works that do not have signs of originality in their form and expression.

    In the Russian doctrine of copyright at the current stage, the criterion of creative contribution to the result of the author’s activity prevails. That is, the novelty, originality of the work are not the main features for the recognition of copyright. To date, in the legislation of the Russian Federation, such a sign of works as originality is not clearly formulated in regulatory legal acts.

    The second feature is that the objects of copyright that are protected may not be material – in the UK law there are precedents that establish legal protection for a concept, idea, theory, which is far from being in all countries.

    Another feature of English copyright law is a modern approach to the protection of the results of “creative work” of high technologies. We are talking about the results created by artificial intelligence. In a number of countries, such works are not recognized as objects of copyright, are not considered identical to works of art, literature or science (for example, Germany). In the UK, in this case, the authorship of the result of the activity of artificial intelligence is protected by the subject who created such a program (At. 9(3) Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988).

    There is no single concept of an author’s contract in UK copyright law. That is, in the texts of normative acts, we can meet different definitions – a license, an author’s agreement, an author’s contract, an agreement. This is explained by the fact that different types of agreements are enshrined in legal documents, under which different amounts of author’s rights are transferred. For example, author assignment provides for the complete transfer of ownership of an object; it can be issued in various forms – in the form of a receipt, receipt, etc.

    English lawyers have to put in enough effort and experience to distinguish between different types of copyright agreements among themselves in the presence of such a variety of forms. In practice, the scope of transferred rights in disputable situations is often proved by the intentions of the author or court decisions.

    Another interesting point is that protection under UK law is also granted to foreigners who have published the results of their work in the United Kingdom. If the publication did not take place in countries that have acceded to the Berne Convention, then the authorship can be confirmed through the court. Document Сopring, DesignsandPatentsAct also contains a number of ways to confirm authorship in this case.

    In general, the hallmark of UK copyright law is a competent combination of national law and international norms, in particular, the Berne and Geneva Conventions. Of primary importance is Soprіng, DesignsandPatentsAct, whose norms protect the authors of literary works, inventions, trademarks, etc. This law is the most voluminous normative act on copyright in the world, it took into account all international requirements and agreements of countries in the field of copyright protection.

    United Kingdom attribution features

    There is no single copyright registration system in the United Kingdom. Authors must take care of themselves to have evidence of the moment at which their authorship arose. There are several ways to fix authorship.

    The most convenient and most common way to obtain such evidence is to apply to English authors’ societies that deposit copies of created works. Depositing is accompanied by their entry into the relevant registers, information from which is accepted as evidence by state bodies, international structures and courts.

    Fixing authorship through notarial structures is another common method that English authors use to document their rights. There are many notary attorneys in the country, including those working specifically in the field of intellectual property. The notary will confirm the fact of creation of the copyright object and record the date.

    Another option is to notify authorship by placing a standard copyright sign on publications and copies of works – the symbol of a capital letter C in a circle.

    You can also confirm authorship in court (but only if there is a dispute). The court will establish the author of the work on the basis of the evidence presented. They can be author’s notes in the text, correspondence with publishers, original manuscripts, written relations of the author with literary agents, etc. If the court fixes authorship, then such a decision will have the force of precedent and will be proof of authorship with all the ensuing consequences in the form of protection of rights.

    Copyright protection methods

    The principle of any legal system implies not just the proclamation of a right, but also the possibility of its protection in various legal ways. Copyright objects in the UK are protected not only through national legislation (including precedents), but also through the norms of international conventions.

    Copyright infringement is punishable by law. The authors of the UK (and, accordingly, the authors of England) can protect their rights in the following ways:

    – in case of violation of the terms of the concluded license agreements, the author has the right to terminate them;

    – seizure of illegal content that violates the rights of the author, confiscation of counterfeit goods, blocking of Internet resources;

    – presentation of written demands to infringers on the prohibition of distribution, use, release of objects of copyright;

    – protection of copyrights and legitimate interests through the court with demands, including compensation for damages, collection of fines and termination of violation of the author’s rights;

    – handling applications for bringing violators to administrative or criminal liability. In these cases, English law provides for significant fines;

    – special procedures for moving manuscripts and objects of art across the border, giving the author the right to establish a ban on the export of his work.

    Thus, copyright protection is aimed either at suppressing illegal actions, or at punishing the guilty violators, or at compensating for the losses and losses of the author from the deed, or a combination of the above. Let’s take a closer look at punishment.

    Liability for copyright infringement

    UK copyright law distinguishes between two main types of infringement – primary (primary) and secondary. In the main violation, there is an infringement directly on the subject of copyright – unauthorized reproduction, for example, illegal copying or other use. Secondary infringement occurs when there are transactions between the copyright infringer and third parties in respect of infringing material. At the same time, a person using or acquiring any rights to objects must be aware that such products are counterfeit, and actions with them are illegal.

    UK criminal law punishes copyright infringement with either fines of various sizes, depending on the severity of the crime, or imprisonment.

    If we compare criminal penalties in the UK with the norms of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in the field of copyright, then English penalties seem to be more severe, and descriptions of possible violations are more diverse. For example, an independent corpus delicti has been established for the possession or manufacture of equipment (devices) that allow the production of counterfeit products.

    Civil liability is built mainly by analogy with the norms of international law, providing the parties to contracts and agreements with a certain freedom in establishing sanctions for violation of the conditions for using copyright objects. Fines, penalties, damages are also inherent in English legal protection.

    In recent years, with the spread of the Internet, English courts have issued many decisions aimed at suppressing violations, blocking illegal access to information that is the subject of protection.


    UK copyright has come a long way through the centuries and today is a rather complex institution of legislative norms. It successfully combines case law, national law and international conventions. It is quite difficult for a foreigner to understand the essence of copyright in this country with rich centuries-old traditions in jurisprudence.

    It is better for authors to protect their interests under UK law through specialists – specially accredited solicitors or lawyers specializing in this branch of law.

    Copyright in England | Features of protection

    The specificity of copyright protection in the UK is due to the application not only of legislative norms, but also of judicial precedents. Judicial acts are of key importance for regulating contractual relations related to the disposal of copyright. In this article, we will analyze what is needed to confirm authorship in the UK, and what features characterize the legal protection regime for works.

    Features of copyright protection in England

    Copyright protection in England is carried out on the basis of international acts (the Berne and Geneva conventions), as well as the national act CDPA (Coring, Designs and Patents Ast). This normative act applies to all protected results of creative and intellectual work – literary works, inventions, trademarks, etc. The protection mode is set for the following categories of right holders:

    • UK residents whose creative work created the work;
    • foreign citizens who have published works in the territory of England or countries party to international conventions;
    • UK resident workers who created the work under an employment contract.

    As in any other country in the world, exclusive rights to works arise from the moment they are created. Since copyright registration is not carried out, the creator of a creative work needs to fix their occurrence in other ways. This can be done through copyright agencies and societies – when depositing a copy of the work, the date of the author’s appeal will be recorded. When notarizing the fact of creation, the date is also reflected in the register. Under the contract of copyright order, the customer can acquire the rights, subject to payment of remuneration to the creator.

    You can also prove the existence of copyright in courts. UK case law considers as evidence the original copy of the manuscript with notes by the authors, working drafts, correspondence with the publisher or editor. If authorship is confirmed by the court, the copyright holder can publish it in order to remove all controversial issues.

    According to the CDPA norms, the author can exercise his copyright and patent rights as follows:

    • publish his work without restrictions on the territory, number of copies and amount of remuneration – publication can be carried out at the expense of the author, or under an agreement with the publisher;
    • copyright is fully valid for digital media, electronic copies of works, including when distributed via the Internet;
    • rights to a work can be sold – the creator himself determines the amount of remuneration for a book or other object, and the right to a name remains even after the conclusion of the contract;
    • transfer the rights to a work for a certain period under a license – in the content of a voluntary license, the parties determine the terms and procedure for paying remuneration, the territory of the permitted use of the copyright object, and other conditions.

    UK law provides for various forms of licensing agreements – copyright agreements and agreements, contracts, voluntary and discovery licenses. For example, under the terms of a voluntary license, it determines the form and method of using rights. Allows registration and exclusive licenses, in which the author undertakes to transfer rights to only one person. Case law makes it possible to conclude these agreements at the stage of creation of the work.

    Property rights to a work can be inherited. The UK is characterized by the disposal of property and rights by drawing up a will – in the text of this document, the author can indicate to which of the heirs the rights will be transferred, as well as the conditions for their use. The heirs may not arbitrarily change the content, title and information about the author of the work, and in subsequent reprints it is allowed to change the design of books or other sources.

    The term of copyright protection in England complies with international conventions – protection is valid throughout the life of the author, as well as for 70 years after his death. During the period of legal protection, the author or his successors have the right to demand payment of remuneration for any use of the work, including when distributed through Internet resources.


    In addition to attesting and proving authorship, the owner of the exclusive rights to a work may exercise any protection provided by UK national law and international conventions. This list includes:

    • early termination of license agreements if significant violations of the terms of the agreement were made – for example, such a right arises in case of violation of the terms for transferring royalties;
    • compulsory confiscation of counterfeit products issued in violation of copyright and related rights, as well as blocking of Internet resources and removal of illegal content;
    • making demands on violators to ban the illegal use of works, withdraw products from circulation or remove electronic copies from the Internet;
    • appeals to the courts to recover damages and fines;
    • bringing to criminal or administrative liability for any cases of copyright infringement.