§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the copyright status of reports produced by consultants for departments in issues of public interest.
§ The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Wakeham)
Under the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 first copyright rests with the author, in this case the consultant, or his or her employer. However, the advice given by HMSO to government departments is that they should normally acquire the copyright for the Crown in all reports, documents and other materials produced under a consultancy contract, as one of the terms of that contract. On that basis, the majority of reports produced by consultants for government are probably subject to Crown copyright protection.