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What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of intellectual property law that is automatically granted to content creators. Copyright laws aim to preserve the rights of original authors, prevent unauthorized use or reproduction of their work, and incentivize creators to keep creating.

Copyright protects original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, methods, concepts, principles or discoveries - although it may protect how these things are expressed.

Generally speaking, copyrights are held by the creator of the material. However, there are a couple of exceptions:

  • Works made for hire - the party or employer who hired the creator is considered the author, even if the employee created the work. The employer can be a firm, an organization, an institution, or an individual.
  • Fair Use content - a provision to make certain use of copyrighted works without obtaining permission
  • Public Domain content