Fax Copyright

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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jade.tay
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Fax Copyright

Post by jade.tay » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:30 am

Hi, I need to know whether or not the information that you send in a fax is protected by copyright or not and anything connected to that.

Thanks.

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:57 am

Hi jade,

Anything which is written or drawn in a document including a fax has the potential to be protected by copyright if it is original, that is, it originated from the creativity of its author.

But copyright is intended to give authors a degree of control over what may be done with the works they create, such as the right to make further copies, publishing their works, offering them for sale and so on. To that extent if you send a copy of something by fax, or by mail there is a implicit understanding that the recipient can do some of these things with the content of that document, within certain parameters. So for instance if the fax goes to a business they may need to scan it into their internal mail system to make sure it gets to the right department, or if several people in the company need to act on the information, copies of the fax may need to be made, and all of that would be justifiable in law because of the implied licence that the originator had authorised these things. However it wouldn't be part of that licence for the recipient to turn the contents of a fax into a book which they then sold for profit without permission from the author.

Obviously I can't say how or if copyright might apply in your particular case, but if you think someone has misused something you sent to them, then it is possible that there will be a stronger claim to breach of confidence, which is a separate matter in law. It would all depend on whether the recipient of the fax could be said to owe an duty of confidence to you. and if the contents of the fax had a quality of confidential information about it.

I hope this answers you question.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

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