Copyright assignments

Copyright is usually owned by the person or organisation that created the work. In the case of copyright works produced by civil servants, the copyright is owned by the Crown. Copyright can also come into Crown ownership by means of assignment, or transfer, of the copyright from the legal owner of the copyright to the Crown.

In exceptional cases, Crown copyright is assigned away from the Crown. Before any assignment of Crown copyright takes place, we make sure that certain criteria are met:

  • that there are sound policy or operational reasons for the copyright transferring outside the Crown
  • where appropriate, that the Crown obtains a financial return
  • that the assignment is subject to any existing licences being honoured

The following lists show the main assignments, both to and from the Crown, in recent years:

Assignments to the Crown

Details of material assigned from an organisation to the Crown

Assigned materialAssigned authorityDate of assignment
Competition Commission copyright and database rights material created prior to closureHer Majesty's Stationery Office31 March 2014
Health Protection Agency copyright and database rights in all material created prior to creation of Public Health EnglandHer Majesty's Stationery Office31 March 2013
Infrastructure and Planning Commission copyright and database rights in all material Her Majesty's Stationery Office30 March 2013
Fire Service College copyright and database rights prior to closure in 2013Her Majesty's Stationery Office27 February 2013
Museums Libraries and Archives Council copyright and database rights prior to closure in January 2012.Her Majesty's Stationery Office31 January 2012
All copyright in the work entitled 'The Bloody Sunday Inquiry'Her Majesty's Stationery Office22 June 2010

Assignments away from the Crown

Details of Crown copyright material assigned to an organisation

Material assignedAssigned organisationDate of assignment
DCMS copyright and database rights in The Transporters series of animated films Autism research Trust3 June 2014
DECC Intellectual Property Rights relating to the GRETA web based registry systemSPW Limited1 October 2013
OGC SWIRL PortfolioPimco 2928 Limited (AXELOS Limited)1 July 2013
The Secretary of State (NHS Connecting for Health) Property Transfer Scheme 2013. Crown copyright and Database rights in material created by Health Research Authority, Health and Social Care Information Centre and the National Health Service Commissioning BoardNational Health Service Commissioning Board31 March 2013
Copyright in DfE 'Playing for Success' logoRex Hall Community Interest Company31 May 2011
BIS Spectrum Licensing dataOFCOM18 November 2010
FSS software databases excluding National DNA Database and NFFIDForensic Science Service Limited6 December 2005
Material produced by or for the Postmaster General or The Post Office prior to the Post Office Act 1969, excluding Crown copyright information originated by the Post Office prior to 1968 Consignia 29 January 2002
Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA)Technical and Scientific Reports, marketing material, product specifications, design drawings, model and related manuals, software and databases Qinetiq Limited1 July 2001

Scottish Government Assignations

Details of Crown copyright material assigned by the Queen’s Printer for Scotland

Assignation materialAssignation authorityDate of assignation
Intellectual property rights in the winning entry in a Commonwealth Games 2014 competition run by the Scottish Government Glasgow 2014 Ltd 26 August 2011
Intellectual Property Rights associated with a town centre regeneration project entitled 'Retail Rocks! Aberdeen'Aberdeen City Council 19 April 2011
Copyright in digitised Images by Internet Archive under contract for Mass Digitisation of Printed Books 2009The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland 29 July 2011