The rights are in most instances vested in our parent company but we do use a small number images and a little descriptive text which is owned by a couple of our suppliers and reproduced with their permission. The fundamental point we are making, is that all content on this site is owned and should never be copied or reproduced in any form whatever, without our express permission in writing.
However, it seems that some website operators believe they can just help themselves to our images and content and so benefit from our work which is intended solely for our customers and visitors. This is an illegal practice and we will seek to take punative action against anyone found engaging in the practice.
As if stealing the work of others was not bad enough, we have even found some sites claiming the copyright for our work and we, understandably, take a very dim view of this very unprofessional behaviour.
For those who don't know the rules of copyright, here are the basics (and always remember, in the eyes of the law, ignorance is no excuse):
The act of creation itself is all that is required to vest the creator (or often their employer) with the copyright in a piece of artistic or literary work (that covers many things - including, but not limited to; images, text, sound recordings, video, software). Contrary to the belief of some, the originator does not need to register anything to own the copyright in their work, neither do they need to display a copyright statement (although it is probably sensible to do so).
Very little of what you see on the Internet is free of copyright (public domain) and it is always safest to assume something is copywritten and seek permission to use it rather than use it and hope not to get caught.
Simply stealing an image or other content, making a slight change or including it in some derivative work is no way to protect yourself especially in this age where technology allows the detection of image origins even when they have been modified beyond all recognition. It is now possible to 'fingerprint' images in a way that is virtually undetectable but which survives all forms of copying and manipulation which makes persuing offenders so much easier than ever before.
The answer is a long time. It varies from country to country but in the UK, copyright is valid for 70 years after the death of the author. So beware, if you have stolen our intellectual property - we're on the lookout and will prosecute if we think you have benefited from our work. if you want to use our images for non-commercial purposes, all you need to do is ask and get our written permission.