This law was originally designed to protect books, photographs and sheet music.
It now applies to all work, no matter what format it is produced in e.g. video, music etc. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 also makes the copying of software illegal.
This is the UK form of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) legislation which exists in most
The law gives the owner of the material or ides the right to prevent it being circulated or copied.
Consider the cost involved in making and distributing a music CD. Artist depend on the revenue made from the sales of the CD. If the CD is copied by everyone rather than bought, the artists will receive no money and will be unable to pay off the costs incurred during production. This is not fair and is now illegal and is referred to as piracy.