Copyright is the protection given to authors of original works of music, literature, drama and art.
There is no official registration system for copyright in the UK, once a work has been created, if it fulfills the criteria for copyright in that it is an original work and the author has expended more than negligible labour, skill and effort in its creation then copyright is automatic. Although not mandatory, it is advisable to mark your work with the ©symbol, the name of the owner and the year in which the work was created to protect your copyright. Another suggested method of protection is to post a copy to yourself and keep the unopened dated envelope to demonstrate that the work was in your possession at a certain date if a dispute later arises.
Copyright is an asset which can be bought, sold or transferred. For example, copyright can be assigned for a fee or royalties so that permission can be given for use of original music in a television advertisement or an author can allow his book to be made into a film.
Copyright is granted for a limited time period, the term of protection for an original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is the life of the author plus 70 years while copyright in the typographical arrangement of a published edition lasts 25 years and copyright in a broadcast expires after 50 years.
For more information on copyright marks go to: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy.htm