Research data, teaching materials, lecture notes may all be works which attract copyright protection.
Copyright is a legally enforceable property right that enables a rights holder to profit from a work such as a book, for example. It does this by preventing others from exploiting the work without the rights holder's say so for a period of time.
Copyright protects original literary, artistic, dramatic and musical works, sound recordings, films or broadcasts, and the typographical arrangement (layout) of published editions. Books, papers and magazines, learning materials, music, artwork and photographs, films, television and radio programmes, software and computer games are all protected by copyright.
The copyright owner can licence copies or adaptations of the work (eg translations, movie rights to a book etc). A licence is a contractual agreement between the copyright owner and user that limits how the user can use the work.
Software (computer programs) and databases can be protected as literary works, as well as other possible rights.
Copyright is free and automatic – no registration is required.
Copyright law is dealt with in more depth in our copyright guide.