The importance of magazine lawyers


As your magazine is the expression of ideas, its contents is governed by two main pieces of legislation: 

  • The Defamation Act 1996
  • Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

If you publish any material in your magazine about a person that is inaccurate or in some way damages their reputation, this could be described as libel and would fall under the Defamation Act. Magazine lawyers are essential if your magazine regularly publishes material that is sensitive or could in some contexts be called libellous. Magazine lawyers can help you make that distinction and ensure your magazine isn’t sued for damages.

Hand-in-hand with the libel laws is copyright. Any material (words or pictures) that your magazine publishes must have its copyright cleared for use. If your magazine uses a lot of freelance contributions, magazine lawyers can draw up a freelance contributors contract that states who owns the copyright of the work being published. Magazine lawyers can also represent you if anyone comes forward claiming that you have infringed their copyright.

Both libel and copyright are often called intellectual property. Magazine lawyers tend to specialise in intellectual property law, as these areas of legislation are highly complex and also encompass European directives as well. It is important that you take legal advice from lawyers about anything you want to publish in your magazine that could potentially infringe intellectual property laws.

Magazine lawyers have detailed knowledge of all the laws that impact on the publishing industry. Whether you have a lawyer on staff, or just a phone call away, knowing you can call upon their expertise is essential for all magazine publishers. With libel and copyright infringement cases on the rise, lawyers can ensure your publication is always the right side of the law.

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 lawyer free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local intellectual property lawyers please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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