Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords


12.15  Sections 165-7 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 created a new form of copyright, known as "parliamentary copyright". Such copyright exists in:

  • bills;
  • select committee reports;
  • any other work made by or under the direction or control of either House of Parliament.

12.16  Parliamentary copyright in a public bill belongs in the first instance to the House into which the bill was introduced, and once the bill has reached the second House, to both Houses jointly. It subsists from the time the bill is handed in to the House in which it is introduced, and ceases on Royal Assent, or the withdrawal or rejection of the bill, or the end of the session.

12.17  Parliamentary copyright in a private bill belongs to both Houses jointly from the time the bill is first deposited in either House. Parliamentary copyright in a personal bill belongs first to the House of Lords (since it is the practice to introduce such bills into that House first), and when the bill reaches the House of Commons to both Houses jointly. Acts and Measures once enacted are subject to Crown copyright.

12.18  Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work made by or under the direction of either House is subject to parliamentary copyright for 50 years from the end of the year in which it was made. Such work includes works made by an employee of either House in the course of his duties, and any sound recording, film, live broadcast or live cable programme of the proceedings of either House. The ownership of such copyright belongs to the House under whose direction or control the work was made (or, as appropriate, both Houses).

12.19  The functions of the House of Lords as owner of copyright are exercised by the Clerk of the Parliaments on behalf of the House, and legal proceedings relating to copyright are brought by or against the House of Lords in the name of the Clerk of the Parliaments. Parliamentary copyright is administered on behalf of both Houses by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

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