Legal Glossary

This glossary is intended merely as a guide to understanding some of the key terms used within the legal statements of the Repository. The University of Cumbria makes no guarantees regarding the definitions contained below; nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any possible mistakes contained herein. The terms below may have specific and different legal meanings in England and other jurisdictions.


Copyright is a legal device that protects original literary, artistic, dramatic and musical works, together with broadcasts, films, sound recordings and typographical arrangements. The owner of the copyright in a work has the sole right to, among other things, copy or adapt the work and issue copies of the work to the public while copyright still subsists in the work. If a third party carries out such these acts without the consent of the copyright owner, they are likely to infringe the copyright in that work. Copyright can be assigned or licensed to a third party.

Database Rights

Database rights protect the creation and methodical arrangement of a database in which substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting the contents, to be considered as a literary Work. This may include the structure of the database records, cataloguing criteria and interface.


An error in printing or writing noted in a list of corrections and linked to the original text.

Fair use/fair dealing

Certain acts can be carried out to work protected by copyright without this amounting to an infringement of that copyright, such as fair dealing for the purpose of private study or non-commercial research, criticism or review and the reporting of current events. The dealing must accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement of the original work. For more information on the fair dealing of electronic information see the JISC working paper on fair dealing.


To transgress or exceed the limits of a law or legal right.

Intellectual Property Rights

The term ‘intellectual property’ covers a vast range of rights, from patents and designs to trade marks and copyright. Intellectual Property Rights are designed to protect the creators of such works from others copying their works. The requirements for protection and the time for which the rights can be protected vary between intellectual property rights. Examples of Intellectual Property Rights include Moral Rights, Database Rights and Performer’s Rights.


Responsibility for your actions, which may be legally enforced.

Moral rights

Moral rights protect the reputation of an author. They are a set of rights including paternity rights (the right to be acknowledged as the author), integrity rights (the right to prevent derogatory treatment of the work), and false attribution (the right not to have a work incorrectly attributed to them).


Patents protect inventions which are new, involve an inventive step and are capable of industrial application.

Performer’s Rights

The rights of a performer to prevent the recording or reproduction of a live performance (including the visual, aural and directorial arrangements) without prior permission.

Trade mark

Trade marks and service marks are marks used by organisations to distinguish their products and services from others. Trade marks can be any sign which can be represented graphically and can include words, shapes, sounds, smells or colours. They have to be capable of distinguishing one brand from another. Generic or descriptive terms are generally able to be registered as a trade mark unless the mark has acquired distinctiveness through use.