Copyright refers to the exclusive legal right to publish, distribute, and sell literary and artistic work, which is granted to a creator for a period of years and can be assigned to others. The copyright sign (©) which usually appears on the title verso, or copyright page, of most publications is the indication that a work has been registered or received copyright under the relevant national legislation. This entry discusses copyright laws in Europe and the United States.

Copyright falls within the category of intellectual property, which also includes laws involving inventions, patents, and trademarks. Intellectual property rights are governed by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, which is an international legal agreement between all member countries of the World Trade Organization and ...

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