How to use a magazine lawyer


Most magazines either have a magazine lawyer on their staff, or can contact a magazine lawyer at short notice. Publishing law is underpinned by the concept of intellectual property. A magazine lawyer will focus on copyright and libel laws, as these two areas of legislation are often in conflict with the publishing industry.

A magazine lawyer will have intimate knowledge of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This Act covers the expression of ideas in print. Your magazine must ensure that it has copyright clearance to print any of the images or words (called copy in magazine publishing jargon) in the features and other material that is prints. If you fail to get this clearance, your magazine lawyer may be fighting a copyright infringement case on your behalf.

Another area that you should be aware of is libel law. You can’t publish any material in your magazine that is inaccurate or brings another person into disrepute. If you do, this could be viewed as defamatory, with a libel case following soon after publication. A magazine lawyer can help you interpret the libel laws to ensure that any material that could be sensitive doesn’t break current libel legislation.

With the UK increasingly becoming a litigious nation, all magazine publishers should be vigilant about all the material they print. A magazine lawyer is an essential resource to have available. Always double-check any aspect of your magazine’s content with a magazine lawyer with expertise in libel and copyright law. Ultimately, this could save you a great deal of money in potential payments of damages. Look at your magazine lawyer as a member of your management team.

If you would like to obtain legal advice about copyright laws and legislation, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist intellectual property / magazine lawyer free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local intellectual property / magazine lawyers please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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