• 1[mass noun] The exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material.

    ‘he issued a writ for breach of copyright’
    ‘making an unauthorized copy would infringe copyright’
    [count noun] ‘works whose copyrights had lapsed’
    • ‘Every modern legal judgment concerning copyright, from the Berne Convention to the Betamax case, is on my side.’
    • ‘This sort of thing is entirely acceptable in the pop world, as long as the end result does not infringe the original copyright.’
    • ‘When creativity is stifled by copyright, the original intention of the law is lost.’
    • ‘The legal system protects intellectual property through patents and copyright.’
    • ‘The possession of copyright in published material may also lead to a conclusion of dominance if the relevant market is drawn tightly.’
    • ‘They claimed that his new material infringed their copyright on some of his old songs.’
    • ‘Sometimes when copyright on a film expires, all sorts of stakeholders come forward.’
    • ‘Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration.’
    • ‘Standards New Zealand came and explained the legal implications around copyright.’
    • ‘Now they seem to think that out of print and out of copyright are the same thing.’
    • ‘Please be sure all reprints retain the original copyright, source, and author name.’
    • ‘We think of creative work as a purely human thing, and wrap invention in mystery and legal monopoly of copyrights and patents.’
    • ‘Unlike copyright, patents give holders exclusive rights to a technology for a set number of years.’
    • ‘In most countries, organisations have been created which control the exercise of copyright in performing and recording rights.’
    • ‘Some universities claim outright copyright on any materials produced by academic staff.’
    • ‘This could be sound, pictures, movies or texts that have no copyright, in legal terms.’
    • ‘The most common argument in favour of the distribution of exclusive copyrights is that they provide an incentive for artists and scientists to create their works.’
    • ‘It compels the sharing of that amount between the owner of copyright in the artistic work and the owner of copyright in the literary work.’
    • ‘One good reason to register is to establish a public record of your copyright.’
    • ‘But for the vast majority of musical artists, their copyrights are a woefully inadequate tool for leveraging their way to a mass audience.’
    copyright, licence, legal protection, right, performing right, permit, privilege, charter, franchise, registered trademark
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]A particular literary, artistic, or musical work that is covered by copyright.


  • Protected by copyright.

    ‘permission to reproduce photographs and other copyright material’
    • ‘Title and intellectual property rights are protected by the copyright laws and treaties.’
    • ‘Forthcoming EU legislation could criminalise Europeans who circumvent copyright protection.’
    • ‘The whole point of copyright law is to protect works even when they are broadly published.’
    • ‘It is a groundbreaking attempt to protect a fictional storyline with a patent, rather than relying on copyright protection.’
    • ‘Having a few years of copyright protection is a good incentive.’
    • ‘This document is protected by applicable copyright laws and international treaties.’
    • ‘Be this as it may, as was seen earlier, form was not important in the attraction of copyright protection in the present case.’
    • ‘The Register will act as a proving ground for existing copyright protection schemes and as a test bed for future technologies.’
    • ‘Creating devices that circumvent copyright protection measures is a violation of the DMCA.’
    • ‘The following sites contain useful information on copyright protection in various parts of the world.’
    • ‘InterTrust has been developing copyright protection and management mechanisms for digital data for a decade or more.’
    • ‘Why were so many fans outraged when Tubular Bells was released recently with digital copyright protection?’
    • ‘This very diversity means that the purpose behind copyright protection may not always be the same.’
    • ‘And judges seem to take a much dimmer view of any tampering with copyright protection.’
    • ‘They invent a new form of copyright protection which is then broken by hackers.’
    • ‘To qualify for copyright protection under the Berne Convention there must be no requirement to register or deposit copies of a work.’
    • ‘Up for discussion still is how to treat the circumvention of copyright protection mechanisms.’
    • ‘Equally, Barry may not have made any move on supporting copyright protection technology.’
    • ‘Where, for instance, is the actual damage caused by extended copyright protection for books?’
    • ‘There's a huge cost that's incurred when you increase copyright protection.’


  • Secure copyright for (material)

    ‘copyrighted music downloaded illegally from the Internet’
    • ‘Until now, it was legal in Sweden to download copyrighted movie and music files, but making them available for sharing was unlawful.’
    • ‘This haiku is copyrighted and the Warrant Mark scheme is trademarked.’
    • ‘This should come as no surprise - they did consider the idea of copyrighting the word ‘Pride’ a number of years ago.’
    • ‘It's also quite amusing that the material is copyrighted to a limited company.’
    • ‘The four students were forced to say they will not pirate copyrighted music on purpose and will shut down their search services.’
    • ‘The playing pitch must be open, not patented and copyrighted every step of the production and delivery process.’
    • ‘Those found making a living by counterfeiting copyrighted products face a jail sentence of up to seven years.’
    • ‘He sits and trolls the internet, and steals copyrighted articles and passes them off as his own.’
    • ‘Owners receive a certificate to this effect, which prohibits others from copyrighting their work without permission.’
    • ‘If the hymn or song is copyrighted, it is necessary to go to the copyright holder to ask for this permission.’
    • ‘Henzteeth, one of Scotland's first dedicated copyrighting agencies will open for business this week.’
    • ‘Until recently, creative people have had two options in sharing our work: copyrighting it and reserving all rights, or releasing it to the public domain.’
    • ‘The computer industry has now grown to such dimensions that copyrighting a software product does not satisfy the appetite of powerful sections of the industry.’
    • ‘The picture, above left, is copyrighted to Ruvan and is one of several to feature on the band's website.’
    • ‘Copylefting involves copyrighting a program and then adding specific distribution terms that give everyone the right to use, modify and redistribute the code.’
    • ‘The software and the networks may now be legal - but using them to swap copyrighted songs is theft.’
    • ‘Rights to copyrighted music are more in their hands than in those of the artists who wrote the songs.’
    • ‘I mean, imagine sitting in a bar and realizing the person two seats down is dropping copyrighted company names every other sentence.’
    • ‘It is mainly used to download copyrighted files of music, video, etc.’
    • ‘I might draw a parallel here with scientists copyrighting genes.’