the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.
of or pertaining to copyrights.
Also, copyrighted. protected by copyright.
verb (used with object)
to secure a copyright on.

1725–35; copy + right

copyrightable, adjective
copyrighter, noun
uncopyrighted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Copyright
World English Dictionary
copyright (ˈkɒpɪˌraɪt)
1.  (c) the exclusive right to produce copies and to control an original literary, musical, or artistic work, granted by law for a specified number of years (in Britain, usually 70 years from the death of the author, composer, etc, or from the date of publication if later)
2.  (of a work, etc) subject to or controlled by copyright
3.  (tr) to take out a copyright on

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"the right to make or sell copies," 1735, from copy + right. As a verb, from 1806 (implied in pp. adj. copyrighted).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

copyright definition

The legal protection given to published works, forbidding anyone but the author from publishing or selling them. An author can transfer the copyright to another person or corporation, such as a publishing company.

Note: The symbol for copyright is ©rt;.

copyright definition

A grant of an exclusive right to produce or sell a book, motion picture, work of art, musical composition, software, or similar product during a specified period of time.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Computing Dictionary

copyright definition

The exclusive rights of the owner of the copyright on a work to make and distribute copies, prepare derivative works, and perform and display the work in public (these last two mainly apply to plays, films, dances and the like, but could also apply to software).
A work, including a piece of software, is under copyright by default in most coutries, whether of not it displays a copyright notice. However, a copyright notice may make it easier to assert ownership. The copyright owner is the person or company whose name appears in the copyright notice on the box, or the disk or the screen or wherever. Most countries have agreed to uphold each others' copyrights.
A copyright notice has three parts. The first can be either the copyright symbol, the word "Copyright" or the abbreviation "Copr". Only the first of these is recognised internationally. This is followed by the name of the copyright holder and the year of first publication.
Originally, most of the computer industry assumed that only the program's underlying instructions were protected under copyright law but, beginning in the early 1980s, a series of lawsuits involving the video screens of game programs extended protections to the appearance of programs.
Use of copyright to restrict redistribution is immoral, unethical and illegitimate. It is a result of brainwashing by monopolists and corporate interests and it violates everyone's rights. Copyrights and patents hamper technological progress by making a naturally abundant resource scarce. Many, from communists to right wing libertarians, are trying to abolish intellectual property myths.
See also public domain, copyleft, software law.
US Copyright Office (
Usenet newsgroup:
[Is this definition correct in the UK? In the US? Elsewhere?]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Because of copyright issues related to various aspects of multimedia, not all
  features are available for reuse.
All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the
  broadcast program as recorded.
The way artists get paid is through the copyright system.
Each sermon has its own paging, t p, and copyright entry.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature