Copyright Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Copyright, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Copyright?

It is a legal method of giving the priviledge and right (for certain period of time) of the creator of something artistic like music, painting, theatre or literary work like writing a book, manufacturing something extraordinary product. They get the right and priviledge to copy that and sell the same.It gives the owner of the copyright to refrain others to reproduce and sell the same.Eg. Raxbaxy pharamaceutical company is facing legal proceedings because they had infringed the copyright law by making medicines that was copyright by the other company.

History and Meaning of Copyright

Copyright is a legal concept that originated in Britain in the 18th century. The Statute of Anne, passed in 1710, provided the first legal framework for copyright protection. It allowed authors to control the printing and distribution of their works for a limited period of time. The purpose of copyright was to encourage creativity and innovation by giving creators a financial incentive to produce new works.

Today, copyright law is complex and varies from country to country. In general, copyright grants the creator of a work the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and perform or display the work publicly. This right is limited in time and scope, and generally lasts for the life of the creator plus a certain number of years after their death.

Examples of Copyright

  1. A musician writes a new song and records it. She holds the copyright to the song and can control who can use it, perform it, or record it.

  2. An author writes a novel and publishes it. She holds the copyright to the book and can control who can make copies of it, sell it, or create derivative works based on it.

  3. A filmmaker produces a new movie and releases it in theaters. They hold the copyright to the film and can control its distribution, as well as any adaptations or sequels that might be made.

  4. A software developer creates a new program and distributes it for use on computers. They hold the copyright to the code and can control who can use it or modify it.

  5. An artist creates a new painting and exhibits it in a gallery. They hold the copyright to the artwork and can control who can reproduce it, sell it, or display it in new contexts.

Legal Terms Similar to Copyright

  1. Trademark - A trademark is a legal term that protects logos, brand names, and other identifiers that are used to distinguish one company's products or services from another.

  2. Patent - A patent is a legal concept that grants exclusive rights to inventors for new and useful inventions. It allows the inventor to prevent others from making, using, or selling their invention without permission.

  3. Fair Use - Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright owner. It is intended to balance the interests of the copyright holder and the public.