About copyright registration

Why register your work?

Registration may perhaps be best thought of as insurance in case your work is used without permission. In the event of an infringement, proving copyright can be a difficult matter. The independent witnessing service provided by UKCS ensures you have strong independent evidence of date and content of the work, helping you to prove ownership of the work.

What happens when work is registered?

The registration deposit creates an independently verifiable dated record of the full content of your work, which acts as compelling evidence if you ever need proof of your copyright claim.

The first time you register, you will be given an account number. Each work you register is then given a unique code to identify it, information about the work is recorded against your account and encrypted copies of your work are then lodged in our archives. You will then be sent a certificate as proof of registration.

An entry in our archive is verifiable evidence of the date and content of your work, and can assist in the event of a dispute. Our staff ensure that securely encrypted copies of your work is stored in geographically separate archive facilities, and our policies of data protection, backup and contingency planning ensure that your work remains safe and secure and will always be available as evidence of your copyright claim for the duration of the registration.

What if an infringement is made?

In the event of a dispute, the UK Copyright Service can act as impartial independent witness, providing evidence as to the authenticity of the claim.

We can verify when the work was registered, firstly by means of the certificate, and after written instruction UKCS can produce copies of the work as proof of originality and content. These can be sent directly to any address specified; this may be a solicitor, or the judge/tribunal dealing with the case.

What types of work should be registered?

Any original literary, design, musical or artistic works can be registered.

This includes: Web sites, advertisements, computer programs, manuscripts and; synopsis, photography, logos, musical works and sound recordings, commercial documents, periodicals, games, etc. Here is a more complete list of work suitable for registration.

Any work which has potential financial value should certainly be registered.

More information

Not sure whether to register? Our assessment pages will help you to make an informed choice.

More information about registering your work can be found on or fact sheet P-04 Registering Copyright.