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Copyright protects your work and prevents other people from making use of it without your authorization. Copyright arises automatically as soon as you create your work, so you are not required to apply or pay a fee. There is no register of copyright works in the UK.
As mentioned above, you will automatically obtain copyright protection when you create original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work; including illustration and photography; original non-literary written work, such as software, web content, and databases; sound and music recordings; film and television recordings; broadcasts; the layout of published editions of written, dramatic and musical works.
The existing copyright law in the UK is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. According to the Act, the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works have the right to control the way to make use of their works. To be specific, they have the right to copy, adapt, issue, rent and lend copies to the public, Broadcast, and public performance. The length of copyright depends on the type of each work. For example, the copyright lasts 70 years after the author's death for written, dramatic, musical and artistic work. For Broadcasts, the copyright lasts 50 years from when it is first broadcast.
You can license the use of your work if you are the copyright owner. You can also get your work licensed by a licensing body, for example, a collecting society, who will agree licenses with users and collect royalties for you. Also, your copyright can be inherited and will have validity as long as the work remains in copyright.
Furthermore, you can keep or waive your ‘moral rights’, including the right to be identified as the author of your work, object to the way that your work is presented, for example, if you think it causes damage to you or your reputation, and object to alterations made to your work.