copy·right 1 /'kä-pē-ˌrīt/ n: a person's exclusive right to reproduce, publish, or sell his or her original work of authorship (as a literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, or architectural work) see also common-law copyright, fair use at use 2, infringe; intellectual property at property, international copyright, original, public domain compare patent, trademark
◇ Copyrights are governed by the Copyright Act of 1976 contained in title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Act protects published or unpublished works that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression from which they can be perceived. The Act does not protect matters such as an idea, process, system, or discovery. Protection under the Act extends for the life of the creator of the work plus fifty years after his or her death. For works created before January 1, 1978, but not copyrighted or in the public domain, the copyright starts on January 1, 1978, and extends for the same period as for other works, but in any case will not expire before December 31, 2002. Prior to the enactment of the Act, copyright protection was available for unpublished works only under common law. The Act abolishes the common-law rights, as well as any rights available under state statute, in favor of the rights available under the provisions of the Act. The Act provides for certain exceptions, however, including rights to protection for works not fixed in a tangible medium of expression, and rights regarding any cause of action arising from events occurring before January 1, 1978.
copyright adj
copyright 2 vt: to secure a copyright on
copy·right·abil·i·ty /ˌkä-pē-ˌrī-tə-'bi-lə-tē/ n
copy·right·able /'kä-pē-ˌrī-tə-bəl/ adj

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

noun authority, authorization, certificate of invention, certification, concession, enfranchisement, entitlement for a term of years, exclusive privilege of publication, exclusive privilege of publication and sale, exclusive right of production, grant, license, permit, privilege to publish, privilege to reproduce, right of literary property, sanction associated concepts: copyright license, patent

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

Copyright is governed by the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 and is intended to protect against others copying and exploiting the form in which a copyright exists (a "work"). It does not however protect the idea behind the work. The copyright, whether it be in a literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work or mechanical rights (sound recordings, film etc.) is generally owned by the author unless he assigns the rights to another. In addition to works already created, the author can agree to assign the rights of works to be created in the future.

Easyform Glossary of Law Terms. — UK law terms.

The legal right to publish, perform, or display a work of literature, art, music, drama, recording, or film, protected both by common law and by statute, including the Copyright Act of 1976. See also infringe

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

the law concerned to prevent the copying of physical material existing in the field of literature and the arts and creation generally. A copyright is a legal right (that endures during the lifetime of, and for 70 years after the death of, a person whose work has been published) not to have such work copied or reproduced or adapted without the author's authorisation and without the payment of royalties (subject to some complex transitional rules). It is concerned only with the copying of physical material and not with the reproduction of ideas, and it does not confer a monopoly to any particular form of words or design. In this it may be distinguished from rights conferred by a patent or trademark.
Besides books and works of art, copyright also subsists in artistic works, sound and television broadcasts, sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer programs. A work generated by a computer, which is not created by a human, is protected for only 50 years. There are various defences and most notable is that of fair dealing for research or private study or for criticism, review or news reporting.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

A bundle of exclusive rights granted to the author of a creative work such as book, movie, song, painting, photograph, design, computer software, or architecture. These rights include the right to make copies, authorize others to make copies, make derivative works, sell and market the work, and perform the work. Any one of these rights can be sold or licensed separately through transfers of copyright ownership. Copyright rights are acquired automatically once the work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Registration of the work with the Copyright Office offers additional benefits to the copyright owner. (See also: fixed in a tangible medium of expression)
Category: Patent, Copyright & Trademark → Copyright Law

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1) This is one of the legal rights that can be used to protect your brand value. The right provides automatic protection to all original work from other people copying the work without your permission. It applies to any original work such as creative or artistic output including a piece of writing, music, photograph, software or video clip.
2) An intellectual property right which seeks to protect the form of expression of ideas, and not the ideas as such (which may be protected by confidentiality). It is intended to reward authors for the creation of original works, that is, works where the author has expended independent effort to create the work. Copyright law is intended to prevent copying but does not provide a monopoly; it does not matter if a similar or identical work already exists provided it has not been copied. It lasts for a set period, most often the life of the author plus 70 years from the end of the calendar year of his death. No formalities need to be observed in the UK for a work to receive copyright protection. Protection in the UK automatically applies to all works recorded in any form provided that they conform to certain requirements.
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3) This right provides automatic protection to all original work from other people copying the work without permission. It applies to all original work, such as creative or artistic output, including a piece of writing, music, photograph, software or video clip.
+ copyright
An intellectual property right that protects original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works. Copyright protection does not extend to ideas, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles or discoveries. In the US, copyright law is governed by the federal Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §§ 101-810).
Copyright owners generally enjoy certain exclusive rights, including the right to:
• Reproduce the work (including making electronic copies).
• Create adaptations (derivative works) based on the work.
• Distribute copies of the work (by sale or rental).
Copyright protection automatically commences when a protected work is first fixed in a tangible medium (for example, written on paper, stored in computer memory or recorded on film) and lasts for a set period, most often the life of the author plus 70 years. Registration of a copyright with the US Copyright Office is not required to secure a copyright, although registration provides additional benefits.
For further information, see Practice Note, Intellectual Property: Overview: Copyrights (

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

n. The exclusive statutory right of literary (authors, playwrights, poets), musical (composers, musicians), visual (painters, photographers, sculptors), and other artists to control the reproduction, use, and disposition of their work, usually for their lifetime plus seventy years. The Copyright Act of 1976 governs most copyrights in the United States.
See also copy, fair use.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

A bundle of intangible rights granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions, whereby, for a limited period, the exclusive privilege is given to that person (or to any party to whom he or she transfers ownership) to make copies of the same for publication and sale.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

A bundle of intangible rights granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions, whereby, for a limited period, the exclusive privilege is given to that person (or to any party to whom he or she transfers ownership) to make copies of the same for publication and sale.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) n. the exclusive right of the author or creator of a literary or artistic property (such as a book, movie or musical composition) to print, copy, sell, license, distribute, transform to another medium, translate, record or perform or otherwise use (or not use) and to give it to another by will. As soon as a work is created and is in a tangible form (such as writing or taping) the work automatically has federal copyright protection. On any distributed and/or published work a notice should be affixed stating the word copyright, copy or c, with the name of the creator and the date of copyright (which is the year of first publication). The notice should be on the title page or the page immediately following and for graphic arts on a clearly visible or accessible place. A work should be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office by submitting a registration form and two copies of the work with a fee which a) establishes proof of earliest creation and publication, b) is required to file a lawsuit for infringement of copyright, c) if filed within three months of publication, establishes a right to attorneys' fees in an infringement suit. Copyrights cover the following: literary, musical and dramatic works, periodicals, maps, works of art (including models), art reproductions, sculptural works, technical drawings, photographs, prints (including labels), movies and other audiovisual works, computer programs, compilations of works and derivative works, and architectural drawings. Not subject to copyright are short phrases, titles, extemporaneous speeches or live unrecorded performances, common information, government publications, mere ideas, and seditious, obscene, libelous and fraudulent work. For any work created from 1978 to date, a copyright is good for the author's life, plus 50 years, with a few exceptions such as work "for hire" which is owned by the one commissioning the work for a period of 75 years from publication. After that it falls into the public domain. Many, but not all, countries recognize international copyrights under the "Universal Copyright Convention," to which the United States is a party.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Copyright — Copyright …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • copyright — [ kɔpirajt ] n. m. • 1878; mot angl. « droit de copie, de reproduction » ♦ Droit exclusif que détient un auteur ou son représentant d exploiter pendant une durée déterminée une œuvre littéraire ou artistique (symb. ©). Date du dépôt de copyright …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • copyright — s.n. Drept rezervat numai autorului sau editorului de a reproduce şi de a vinde operele literare, artistice şi ştiinţifice în alte ţări; drepturi legale de autor. [pr.: cópirait] – cuv. engl. Trimis de IoanSoleriu, 31.07.2004. Sursa: DEX 98 … …   Dicționar Român

  • Copyright — Sn Urheberrecht erw. fach. (19. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. copyright Abdrucksrecht zu ne. copy abdrucken, kopieren und ne. right Recht . Der in den Vereinigten Staaten beschlossenen Copyright Vereinbarung hat sich Deutschland 1892… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Copyright — Cop y*right, n. The right of an author or his assignee, under statute, to print and publish his literary or artistic work, exclusively of all other persons. This right may be had in maps, charts, engravings, plays, and musical compositions, as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • copyright — [käp′ērīt΄] n. [ COPY + RIGHT] the exclusive right to the publication, production, or sale of the rights to a literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work, or to the use of a commercial print or label, granted by law for a specified period of… …   English World dictionary

  • copyright — (plural copyrights; del inglés; pronunciamos copirráit ) sustantivo masculino 1. Propiedad intelectual o literaria de una obra: La ley prohíbe cualquier reproducción de un libro sin autorización escrita del titular del copyright. Esta edición es… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Copyright — Cop y*right , v. t. To secure a copyright on. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Copyright — (spr. Koppireit), das Verlagsrecht; Copyright Bill, Gesetz über das Verlagseigenthum; Copyrightedition (spr. Koppireitedischen), rechtmäßige Ausgabe eines Buches …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Copyright — (engl., spr. kóppirait), Verlagsrecht, Urheberrecht (s. diese Artikel) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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