copyright

noun
copy·​right | \ ˈkä-pē-ˌrīt How to pronounce copyright (audio) \

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 How to pronounce copyrightable (audio) \ 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

The directive largely updates existing copyright law. Raf Casert, The Seattle Times, "EU parliament backs copyright bill targeting US tech giants," 27 Mar. 2019 Over the past few years, there have been many accusations, lawsuits, and settlements between indie designers and fast fashion conglomerates over alleged copyright infringements. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Imitation In Fashion is a Huge Problem, But It's Probably Not Going Anywhere," 13 Mar. 2019 The European Parliament voted 348-274 to pass the online copyright bill, with 36 abstentions. Raf Casert, The Seattle Times, "EU parliament backs copyright bill targeting US tech giants," 27 Mar. 2019 In March 2016, Sony paid the estate of Michael Jackson $750 million dollars to buy out the late pop star’s stake in the world’s largest music publishing company which owns the music copyrights of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "Sony Made $250 Million Bet on Michael Jackson Before Documentary," 6 Mar. 2019 For example: In 2011, a crisis of copyright law essentially begot the success of MusicBed, which was, at the time, still an entrepreneurial gambit by the owner of a creative agency. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Why Does Every Tech Ad Use the Same Song? Because of This Man.," 26 Feb. 2019 The new agreement extends the terms of copyright from 50 years beyond the life of the author to 70 years beyond the life of the author. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The three countries signed the deal at the G20 on Friday.," 30 Nov. 2018 Today, Gunship handles its own marketing, seeks copyright permissions and churns out music videos, using skills honed outside the music industry. Neil Shah, WSJ, "Synthwave, the Sound of an ’80s Childhood, Goes Mainstream," 26 Jan. 2019 In the not-too-distant future, a pharmaceutical pirate named Jack travels around the world in a submarine, breaking patents and copyrights to bring cheap drugs to the world’s impoverished peoples. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The 13 best sci-fi books to check out on your new Kindle," 29 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And for those who love the idea of building their own, just know these designs are copyrighted, although Pauly is looking for apprentices to pass on the legacy. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "You Could Own Your Own Fairy Tale Cottage," 17 Apr. 2019 The biggest question is whether a dance move can be copyrighted at all — a legal matter that has never been fully answered. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018 Those were actual incidents—historical facts can’t be copyrighted. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Why the Law Appears to Favor Alabama in Budding Barbershop Battle With LeBron," 5 Apr. 2018 Specifically, nine set-top box distributors were referred to the FCC in October for enabling the unlawful streaming of copyrighted material, seven of which displayed the FCC logo, although there was no record of such compliance. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "FCC Republican asks Amazon and eBay to boost crackdown on pirate TV boxes," 29 May 2018 Not accepting children's plays, musicals, adaptations of copyrighted material, or translation. Mark Rapp, cleveland.com, "Cleveland theater's auditions for April 27 and Beyond: Ohio Shakespere Festival's 2018-19 Season & More," 27 Apr. 2018 This would require some platforms, like YouTube, to take steps to prevent users from uploading copyrighted content. Robert Levine, Billboard, "What a Google Email to News Publications Means for the Music Business," 28 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Use of those mods constitutes copyright infringement and breach of the game's EULA, Epic argues, echoing lawsuits filed against Fortnite cheaters filed last year. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Fortnite, GTA V hackers face legal action for online cheating," 17 Oct. 2018 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

13 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce copyright (audio) \

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 How to pronounce copyright (audio) \

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 How to pronounce copyrightable (audio) \ adjective

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