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 In some areas, such as entertainment, technology, and pharmaceuticals, foreign companies looked on helplessly as their products were pirated and their copyrights breached. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "The Uneasy Truce of Trump’s Trade Deal with China," 16 Jan. 2020 The parade of copyright violations wasn’t a Club World Cup anomaly. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Twitch Has Become a Haven for Live Sports Piracy," 15 Jan. 2020 Further Reading Blame copyright for WWI letters missing from UK museums this weekend In every way imaginable, then, Mendes' film makes its cameras the star, because everything else that happens is in service of these dramatically staged sequences. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "1917 film review: War has never been captured so incredibly," 10 Jan. 2020 Broadly speaking, copyright protection expires in the US after 95 years. Anne Quito, Quartz, "The books, songs, films, and other works entering public domain on Jan. 1, 2020," 30 Dec. 2019 The Fox logo on the back reads copyright 1927 by Carl D. Newton, owner of the photo-processing company. Paula Allen, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio family’s 1920s photo likely was gag snapshot not silent movie still," 28 Dec. 2019 Take, for example, the climatic moment when Jo March (portrayed in the film by Saoirse Ronan) advocates for ownership over the copyrights to her novel. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Emma Watson Compares Taylor Swift to Jo March in “Little Women”," 28 Dec. 2019 The Justice Department said the streaming services cost copyright owners millions of dollars. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, "Feds bust illegal streaming service bigger than Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu," 13 Dec. 2019 Writers and publishers wanted some degree of ownership—hence the new concepts of copyright and intellectual property. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, "Our Predictions About the Internet Are Probably Wrong," 10 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The cut and three-dimensional shape of a garment cannot be copyrighted, for instance. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Versace’s famed J.Lo Grammy dress is at the center of a new lawsuit," 27 Nov. 2019 The courts have long held that laws can't be copyrighted. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Justices debate allowing state law to be “hidden behind a pay wall”," 3 Dec. 2019 Nonetheless, last year, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with Google and ruled that APIs can be copyrighted. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "US Supreme Court holds innovation in the balance in Google v Oracle," 20 Nov. 2019 Genius first establishes contracts with music publishers to repost song lyrics on its website, because song lyrics are copyrighted property and cannot be reposted without paying songwriters. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Google will cite where its song lyrics come from following Genius dispute," 18 June 2019 Commercial uses of copyrighted content are more likely to be taken seriously by the courts in infringement cases. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Katy Perry Sued for Copyright Infringement Over Hillary Clinton Costume Photo," 31 Oct. 2019 Owners of copyrighted content will now have to define the exact location in a video where their material appears, clarifying the complaint and giving people the ability to edit out said material. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube’s alternative monetization strategy is a good step, but it ignores bigger problems," 12 July 2019 The site protects itself from legal threats by removing copyrighted content, but allows practically everything else onto the site without limits. Anchorage Daily News, "3 mass shootings this year began with a hateful screed on 8chan, whose founder calls it a terrorist refuge in plain sight," 4 Aug. 2019 Also featured will be renowned origami expert and mathematics professor Toshikazu Kawasaki, whose copyrighted one minute rose origami design is featured below. oregonlive.com, "World class origami experts descend on Portland for Pacific Coast OrigamiUSA 2019 Conference," 12 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 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

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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Copyright.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/copyright. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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 copyrightable (audio) \ adjective

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