Copyright is a legal protection that grants the creator of literary and artistic work the exclusive right to publish, distribute, display, and offer all or some of those rights to others. This entry further defines copyright and intellectual property, then discusses the history of copyright laws, the fair use or fair dealing exceptions to copyright laws, and alternatives to copyright.

Copyright falls under the broader category of intellectual property, which also includes the laws regarding patents, trademarks, industrial design, and trade secrets. Intellectual property recognizes that creators should be able to have some control over their creations and decide how the larger culture can use their work. This may mean charging a permission fee to use a photograph or offering others the ability to use a ...

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