Publication Right

Jane Lambert
27 May 2010

Publication right is a right equivalent to copyright. It comes into being upon the first publication of a previously unpublished artistic, dramatic, literary or musical work or film the copyright in which has expired.    Publication for this purpose means issuing copies of a work to the public, making the work available by means of an electronic retrieval system, renting or lending of copies of the work to the public, performing, exhibiting or showing the work in public or communicating the work to the public so long as it is done by or with the consent of the owner of the physical medium embodying or recording the work.

Source of Law
The right is conferred by reg. 16 of The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 1996.  These regulations give effect to the Term and Related Rights Directive (Council Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 harmonising the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights) in the UK.

A work qualifies for publication right protection only if the

first publication is in the European Economic Area, and

the publisher of the work is at the time of first publication a national of

an EEA state.


Publication right expires at the end of the period of 25 years from the end 

of the calendar year in which the work was first published.

Publication  right is infringed by copying the work, issuing copies to the public, renting or lending the work, performing, showing or playing the work in public, communicating the work to the public or making an adaptation of the work