Copyright infringement can be defined as the exercising of any of the exclusive rights of a copyright holder without the express authorization of said holder, or as excused by an exemption or other defense, such as fair use. Substantial similarity to a copyrighted work is sufficient to prove infringement, even if none of the words, musical notes, brushstrokes, or other media-relevant criteria are identical. The holder of a copyright has certain exclusive rights, such as the right to sell or reproduce specific material, violation of which is infringement.

Historical Background

The beginnings of copyright law followed the emergence of printing. The church and sovereign governments attempted to control the production of printers. In 1501, Pope Alexander VI issued a papal bull against the unlicensed printing of books. ...

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