See also: Law | Licenses | Intellectual Property | Copyleft | Fair Use

A legal method by which exclusive intellectual property rights are preserved for purposes of financial gain. Copyright is simply the right to prevent others making copies. Copyright attempts to preserve authority over the consumption of various media with the owner of the copyright license. Copyright covers a wide range of arts, media, products and services including literature, music, movies and software.

Copyright, like patents and trademarks, benefits only those who can enforce the related legislation. The Berne Convention was responsible for creating international standards for copyright protection. Copyright laws are often used to sue users who infringe, internet hosts serving unauthorised copyrighted material, the creators of file sharing programs and even internet service providers.

A copyright message, such as the following, may nor may not accompany copyrighted material.

Copyright. � All rights reserved.

Copyright includes all of the basic legal rights afforded include the rights to determine or authorise distribution, details of derivatives, permission for a public performance or public display, and the copying of work in totality. The right to receive revenue by the collection of royalty fees, etc. is undergoing great change as digital technology develops. Politicians and interested industry groups, such as the RIAA have recently attempted to create and implement new laws such as the DMCA that protect against newer forms of piracy.

In an effort to “protect” aboriginal artwork, Australia has some of the worst and most restrictive copyright laws in existence. Since 1994 it has been illegal for non-aboriginal people to create an image that even resembles authentic indigenous designs.

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