copyright

noun
copy·​right | \ˈkä-pē-ˌrīt \

Definition of copyright 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (such as a literary, musical, or artistic work) His family still holds the copyright to his songs.

copyright

verb
copyrighted; copyrighting; copyrights

Definition of copyright (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to secure a copyright on He has copyrighted all of his plays.

copyright

adjective

Definition of copyright (Entry 3 of 3)

: secured by copyright copyright songs

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Other Words from copyright

Verb

copyrightable \ˈkä-​pē-​ˌrī-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of copyright in a Sentence

Noun

His family still holds the copyright to his songs. The book is under copyright.

Verb

He has copyrighted all of his plays.

Adjective

The copyright date is 2005.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There is a fashion copyright law in France, but not in the U.S., according to Susan Scafidi, founder and director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Fashion Industry Gossip Was Once Whispered. Now It’s on Instagram.," 2 Dec. 2018 While Nintendo is issuing copyright strikes and YouTube ban requests for these uploads, mirrors of the soundtrack remains relatively easy to find online as of this writing as well. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Nintendo struggles to contain massive Smash Bros. Ultimate leaks," 26 Nov. 2018 On a practical branding level, the museum’s curatorial team helps store buyers make sure colors are correct in reproductions and checks out copyrights, which can sometimes be impossible or overly expensive to secure. Micaela Marini Higgs, Vox, "The complicated relationship between art and commerce has a home in the museum gift shop.," 7 Nov. 2018 For the last decade, the Congressional debate over copyright law has been in a stalemate. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Senate passes copyright bill to end 140-year protection for old songs," 19 Sep. 2018 Notably, this is the first time producers have ever been mentioned in copyright law. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Senate passes Music Modernization Act," 18 Sep. 2018 When Germany passed a copyright law, publishers gave Google licenses for free rather than lose traffic. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "EU Advances on Copyright Bill Opposed by Silicon Valley," 12 Sep. 2018 In 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled Aereo had violated the networks’ copyrights, a finding that drove Aereo out of business. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Internet service Starry, aiming to take on its bigger rivals, raises $100 million," 5 July 2018 The ancillary copyright for publishers in Article 11 of the current version of the Copyright Directive won't affect the industry, but Google and other technology companies are using the same strategy to lobby against Article 13. Robert Levine, Billboard, "What a Google Email to News Publications Means for the Music Business," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Take the topic out of the hands of coaches and athletic departments because both groups have shown themselves unable to shake the idea that the information is copyrighted. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "It's time for college football, NCAA to embrace injury reports with gambling influence rising," 3 July 2018 The Capitals will face the Vegas Golden Knights, a nightmare opponent for a franchise that has copyrighted excruciating losses. Steve Rosenbloom, chicagotribune.com, "Capitals are the perfect team for Cubs fans until their baseball club stops stinking," 24 May 2018 The song had actually been copyrighted in 1935 and Abner Silver, Al Lewis, and Al Sherman were credited as the authors. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, "They finally got Al Capone for tax evasion. But what about plagiarism?," 15 May 2018 Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. Chris Morris, Fortune, "'Active Shooter' Video Game Pulled From Distribution—But Not Because of Its Theme," 30 May 2018 But the artist failed to adequately copyright it and so missed out on the huge royalties that may have been due him. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "We love pop artist Robert Indiana, even if he didn't always love us," 22 May 2018 The court ruled that some of the characters the author created were developed enough to be copyrighted, while others were not. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Did YouTube Phenomenon Poppy Steal Her Style From Another Star?," 9 May 2018 Not accepting children's plays, musicals, adaptations of copyrighted material, or translation. Mark Rapp, cleveland.com, "Cleveland theater's auditions for March 16 and Beyond: Chagrin Valley Little Theatre seeking directors for 2018-19 Season & More," 16 Mar. 2018 But copyrighted material, including video streaming platforms, computer games and e-books, are exempt, a decision Europe's primary consumer rights organizations has sharply criticized. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "Netflix, other streaming services, escape new European Union geoblocking ban," 7 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

That court upheld a lower court's previous ruling, which said, basically, that animals can't file copyright infringement suits. Susannah Cullinane, CNN, "Monkey does not own selfie copyright, appeals court rules," 24 Apr. 2018 If restricting resale of Frozen download codes is copyright misuse, that doesn't just mean that Redbox can re-sell download codes. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How a fight over Star Wars download codes could reshape copyright law," 23 Feb. 2018 Energy Intelligence Group alleges that forwarding copies of its publications violates copyright laws. L.m. Sixel, Houston Chronicle, "Houston jury awards energy publisher $585,000 for copyright violations," 8 Dec. 2017 Previously, Google had only removed webpages with identifying financial information, such as credit card numbers, and with content that violates copyright laws. Bloomberg News, NOLA.com, "Google to remove private medical records from search results," 24 June 2017 With Ivan Pereira and Alison Fox ——— ©2017 Newsday _____ Copyright 2017 Tribune Content Agency. Rachelle Blidner And Laura Figueroa, Jewish Journal, "NATIONAL: Celebrate Israel parade steps off in Manhattan on Sunday," 5 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'copyright.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of copyright

Noun

1735, in the meaning defined above

Verb

circa 1806, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1870, in the meaning defined above

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Learn More about copyright

Dictionary Entries near copyright

copy number

copy paper

copyreader

copyright

copywriter

coq

coq au vin

Statistics for copyright

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for copyright

The first known use of copyright was in 1735

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More Definitions for copyright

copyright

noun

English Language Learners Definition of copyright

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the legal right to be the only one to reproduce, publish, and sell a book, musical recording, etc., for a certain period of time

copyright

verb

English Language Learners Definition of copyright (Entry 2 of 3)

: to get a copyright for a book, musical recording, etc., for a certain period of time

copyright

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of copyright (Entry 3 of 3)

: of or relating to a copyright

: not allowed to be copied without permission from the author, composer, etc.

copyright

noun
copy·​right | \ˈkä-pē-ˌrīt \

Kids Definition of copyright

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the legal right to be the only one to reproduce, publish, and sell the contents and form of a literary or artistic work

copyright

verb
copyrighted; copyrighting

Kids Definition of copyright (Entry 2 of 2)

: to get a copyright on

copyright

noun
copy·​right | \ˈkä-pē-ˌrīt \

Legal Definition of copyright 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: 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 sense 2, infringe, intellectual property at property, international copyright, original, public domain — compare patent, trademark

Note: 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 seventy 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. If a work is published on or before December 31, 2002, the copyright will not expire before December 31, 2047. The Act abolishes protection under common law, as well as any rights available under state statute, in favor of the rights available under the provisions of the Act, with certain exceptions.

Other Words from copyright

copyright adjective

copyright

transitive verb

Legal Definition of copyright (Entry 2 of 2)

: to secure a copyright on

Other Words from copyright

copyrightability \ˌkä-​pē-​ˌrī-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
copyrightable \ˈkä-​pē-​ˌrī-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on copyright

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with copyright

Spanish Central: Translation of copyright

Nglish: Translation of copyright for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of copyright for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about copyright

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