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 copyright (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 An expired copyright and mercenary timing will do that. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "The copyright to 'The Great Gatsby’ is up, and prequel 'Nick' is here to take advantage," 6 Jan. 2021 Music streaming services in China removed more than two million unauthorized songs from their websites and apps over a three-week period that summer, according to the National Copyright Administration, China's top copyright regulator. Laura He, CNN, "Alibaba is shutting down its music streaming app," 5 Jan. 2021 Among the authors who waited for Fitzgerald’s copyright to expire is Michael Farris Smith. Washington Post, "For ‘Gatsby’ fans, 2021 will be the start of remakes. First up: ‘Nick’," 29 Dec. 2020 Who loves a good, meaty copyright dispute over APIs? Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "2020’s 20 most-commented stories," 25 Dec. 2020 Brought to you by The Christian Science Monitor, copyright 2020. Ken Makin, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘The truth of history is unbiased’: Ken Makin on race, justice, and hope (audio)," 23 Dec. 2020 The establishment of a copyright claims board was applauded by protectors of creator works in the industry. Claudia Rosenbaum, Billboard, "Congress Passes CASE Act as Part of COVID-19 Relief Bill," 22 Dec. 2020 The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act, also known as the CASE Act, would create a new way for copyright holders to file claims of up to $30,000 by establishing a Copyright Claims Board. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "Eight noteworthy measures packed into massive COVID-19 relief and omnibus bill," 21 Dec. 2020 Songwriters typically signed contracts that gave a publisher two terms of copyright ownership, of 28 years each, for a total of 56 years. Ed Christman, Billboard, "Bob Dylan's 'Incredibly Unusual' Decision That Let Him Own All His Songs," 16 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In 1898, Foster Brothers began to copyright and publish reproductions of paintings, drawings, miniatures and silhouettes — again, another way to sell their frames. Helaine Fendelman And Joe Rosson, Star Tribune, "Silhouettes show a side of history," 8 Dec. 2020 Material that is copyrighted or violates federal criminal law must still be taken down. The Economist, "The moderator’s dilemma Donald Trump has reignited a debate about regulating speech online," 4 June 2020 Bowden discovered that the only way to get her photos removed was to copyright them and then issue takedown notices to websites. Olivia Solon, NBC News, "Inside Facebook's efforts to stop revenge porn before it spreads," 18 Nov. 2019 On Monday, Leonard filed a lawsuit against sneaker giant Nike, alleging that the company fraudulently copyrighted a personal logo that Leonard himself designed. Kevin Dotson, CNN, "The FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off a big sports weekend featuring the Belmont Stakes and NHL Stanley Cup Final," 7 June 2019 In a third case, with seemingly esoteric but nevertheless far-reaching implications, the court ruled that Georgia could not copyright its entire legal code, which includes state laws and the official annotations explaining them. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "On Politics: How Available Is Virus Aid, Really?," 28 Apr. 2020 But a couple of rulings from the 1800s said that judicial documents could not be copyrighted. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Supreme Court rules Georgia can’t put the law behind a paywall," 27 Apr. 2020 That includes Google’s appeal of a ruling that the software giant improperly used Oracle’s copyrighted programming code in the Android operating system. Greg Stohr, SFChronicle.com, "Google, Oracle and Trump cases put on Supreme Court hold by virus," 30 Mar. 2020 Courts rejected those claims, ruling that conversations could not be copyrighted. Matt Schudel, BostonGlobe.com, "A.E. Hotchner, author with a gift for famous friendships, dies at 102," 16 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective It was eventually removed from the platform, but due to a copyright claim, not because of its falsity. Donie O'sullivan, CNN, "Twitter's tiny warning labels no match for Trump's tweets," 16 Sep. 2020 The company eventually removed it due to a copyright claim. Donie O'sullivan And Daniel Dale, CNN, "Republicans are flooding the internet with deceptive videos and Big Tech isn't keeping up," 1 Sep. 2020 There's probably good reason to doubt whether the need to experiment is something that alone can beat a copyright claim, especially given all that's at play here. Eriq Gardner, Billboard, "Nicki Minaj Warns Experimentation at Stake in Tracy Chapman Copyright Suit," 18 Aug. 2020 By Sunday, the archival NASA video was no longer available to view, Twitter users spotted, because of a copyright claim from National Geographic. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "SpaceX launch footage was taken down thanks to bogus copyright claim," 1 June 2020 Canada would increase its copyright protection term. Sarah Babbage | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Why Nafta Isn’t Dead (Yet) and What Might Replace It," 10 Dec. 2019 Canada would also increase its copyright protection term. 5. Sarah Babbage, Fortune, "Why Nafta Isn’t Dead (Yet)— And What Might Replace It," 6 Dec. 2019 The publishers claim the feature violates copyright law. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "An Offer You Can’t Refuse: How A.I. Is Poised to Transform Negotiations. Eye on A.I.," 3 Sep. 2019 Together, the three cases -- all of which involved compositions rather than recordings -- could reshape both legal precedents and industry practices concerning what constitutes copyright infringement. Steve Knopper, Billboard, "Copyright Chaos? 'Dark Horse' Verdict Could Lead to New Wave of Lawsuits," 8 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for copyright

Time Traveler

The first known use of copyright was in 1735

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Statistics for copyright

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Copyright.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/copyright. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for copyright

copyright

noun
How to pronounce copyright (audio)

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 copyright (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on copyright

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