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CLA’s 2021 Copyright Essay Prize launches

CLA is pleased to announce the launch of its second annual Copyright Essay competition for 16-19-year-old students based in the UK. The winning essay will win £300, with prizes for second and third place.

Students are invited to consider the role that copyright plays in business, and whether copyright only serves to protect larger companies.

Despite the circumstances of the 2020 competition, which launched as the pandemic took grip, we were overwhelmed by the positive response from students.  Entries from across the country proved that even while institutions were closed and teaching was transformed, students were able to engage with the perhaps unfamiliar and complex issue of intellectual property.

2021 brings with it a new question, and one we feel sure will capture the interest of students from Business Studies, Economics, Law, and Citizenship.  But other curriculum areas whose creative output is protected by copyright have a stake in this question too, where photographs, animations, designs, music, and other media are regularly used by commercial companies.  The question is broad in its scope, and students are encouraged to focus on specific areas of interest to them.

The 2021 competition question

This year, CLA is asking students to answer the question: ‘Copyright only protects big companies’. Discuss.

Julie Murray, CLA’s Education Account Manager highlights the nature of the competition.

‘We hope that the competition offers something thought-provoking and relevant for students to sink their teeth into, where they can take ownership of the project from start to finish – from research to the final opinionated conclusion.  In some respects, copyright feels like an intangible force, but once you start delving into it, it’s clear it touches on so many aspects of not just our economy, but our everyday lives.  We’ve sat at home during lockdown and watched hours of TV; from the soundtrack on a programme or the graphics on an advert, copyright will have a hand in all those creative outputs.’ 

Competition Guidance

Students have until 30 June 2021 to submit entries, at which point a panel of expert judges will decide who has offered the most well-evidenced, reasoned, and persuasive arguments.  The winner will follow in the footsteps of Madison from City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College who was delighted to take 2020’s top prize.

The competition launched Friday 26 February.  All the details, including important terms and conditions, are on the CLA website.  If you have any questions about the Copyright Essay competition, please contact