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2021 Copyright Essay prize winner

We’re delighted to announce that Charlotte Rushton, 19, and alumna of Westonbirt School Sixth Form in Gloucestershire, has won this year’s CLA Copyright Essay Prize.

This year’s question posed a challenge to entrants – does copyright only protect big companies?  A big question that needed big thinking, and Charlotte rose to the challenge.

Several of the judging panel expressed how impressed they were with Charlotte’s well-structured arguments leading to a reasoned conclusion, as well as her breadth of understanding based on a wide range of well-researched sources.  She demonstrated a clear grasp of copyright and the implications of the question, drawing on reading from the UN, WIPO, Planck and case law.

And what was Charlotte’s response to the question?  As her essay itself concludes;

Copyright is not a device used by big companies to gain ultimate market dominance; it is a cornerstone of the UK’s constitution, enabling creativity, advancing competition and preserving consumer welfare.


Charlotte becomes the latest recipient of the £300 top prize, which CLA hopes comes in handy as she embarks on her undergraduate Law degree at LSE this Autumn.  Indeed, Charlotte reflected on how her competition entry was shaped by her chosen degree:

I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to enter the CLA’s copyright essay competition and I am delighted to have been awarded first place. 

During my gap year, I entered this competition to develop my understanding of copyright in a commercial setting and the legal, social and economic challenges that can arise in this field of law. I believe this has been an integral part of my preparations to read Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, starting in September 2021. 

The main argument of my essay recognised the importance of the consistent and impartial application of copyright law in order to protect companies of all sizes, as well as individuals.


Milly Lambert, 18 from Uckfield College and a return entrant from 2020 was this year’s runner-up.  We send our warmest congratulations to both students.

The CLA Copyright competition will return in 2022, and we may even have some new categories for different types of entry.  If you’d like to stay updated with the launch and key dates, just register for our newsletter.