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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The macro issue — who should be credited and paid for a song, and how much — goes back to the earliest days of copyright, if not creativity itself. Jem Aswad, Variety, 29 July 2022 Right now, artists using traditional mediums hold copyright over their work by default. Wired, 28 July 2022 The lawsuit, settled for an undisclosed sum, was brought forth after Mo’Nique declined an opening offer of $500,000 for a one-hour show to which Netflix would have complete copyright and audio-only rights. Emma Hinchliffe And Paige Mcglauflin, Fortune, 20 July 2022 There are currently no copyright laws designed to combat the use of deepfakes. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 May 2022 No professional photos will be accepted due to copyright laws. cleveland, 30 Apr. 2022 Attorney David Loy with the First Amendment Coalition says the officers’ attempt to use copyright infringement laws in order to interfere with their own accountability to the public raises serious concerns. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2022 Banks cites several times amendments to copyright laws has benefited Disney. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 6 Apr. 2022 His Mao series came from a photograph taken by a government photographer long before the People’s Republic of China reintroduced copyright laws in the 1990s. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 29 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Willys would eventually copyright the name, giving us Jeep. Washington Post, 12 Mar. 2022 When Billboard spoke to Knight for a cover story in 2020, the Atlanta native had begun his fight to copyright his moves in earnest. Nina Braca, Billboard, 8 Feb. 2022 Her attempts to copyright her perfect nose job will not do much to ensure that anybody can recall what Cassidy Carter’s perfect nose job actually looked like when the world is underwater, or on fire, or some combination of the two. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, 27 Sep. 2021 And because no one owned the rights — a decision was made early not to copyright the design — everyone was able to own the cause. Jason Sheeler, PEOPLE.com, 3 Sep. 2021 Baker, who passed away in 2017, did not copyright the flag and its use took off around the world. Sarah Prager, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 June 2021 The issues were with YouTube, because YouTube would copyright a lot of videos. Sandra Song, Vulture, 6 Mar. 2021 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, 8 Dec. 2020 Material that is copyrighted or violates federal criminal law must still be taken down. The Economist, 4 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Archivists attempting to preserve old video games have been locked in copyright battles with publishers for years. Jonathan Lee, Washington Post, 13 July 2022 Unless otherwise stated, all material hosted by Forbes on this Forbes website is copyright © GrrlScientist. Grrlscientist, Forbes, 11 July 2022 Masihzadeh's copyright claim will now go on to court, but the judge's initial ruling can still be challenged in the appellate court, per legal proceedings in Iran. Nick Romano, EW.com, 5 Apr. 2022 Ashli Weiss, a Silicon Valley lawyer who has published a guide for how to send copyright notices to NFT marketplaces, said the burden on artists is exacerbated by the fact that many NFT thieves appear to be automated bots. NBC News, 10 Jan. 2022 Sony confirmed the authenticity of some of those still images when its legal team issued copyright notices and demanded they be taken down. Chris Smith, BGR, 9 Dec. 2021 Moish Peltz, an intellectual property lawyer who specializes in blockchain, crypto and NFTs, said the digital tokens could pose unique tests for how copyright principles apply in cases with extenuating circumstances. Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2022 Families of shooting victims have frequently relied on copyright law to get results. Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2022 Locast exploited a copyright loophole for nonprofits to pirate content. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About copyright

Time Traveler for copyright

Time Traveler

The first known use of copyright was in 1735

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Dictionary Entries Near copyright

copyreader

copyright

copywriter

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Statistics for copyright

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Copyright.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/copyright. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for copyright

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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