1. [syn: copyright, right of first publication]
1. secure a copyright on a written work;
- Example: "did you copyright your manuscript?"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Copyright \Cop"y*right`\, v. t.
To secure a copyright on.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Copyright \Cop"y*right\, n.
The right of an author or his assignee, under statute, to
print and publish his literary or artistic work, exclusively
of all other persons. This right may be had in maps, charts,
engravings, plays, and musical compositions, as well as in
Note: In the United States in 1913 a copyright was valid for
the term of twenty-eight years, with right of renewal
for fourteen years on certain conditions. The term was
extended in stages, and in 1997 the term of a copyright
was life plus 50 years for individuals retaining their
copyright, or 75 years for works created for hire.
Further extension is still (1998) being discussed.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
International copyright, an author's right in his
productions as secured by treaty between nations.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a document granting exclusive right to publish and sell
literary or musical or artistic work [syn: copyright,
right of first publication]
v 1: secure a copyright on a written work; "did you copyright
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
142 Moby Thesaurus words for "copyright":
aegis, arm, arm guard, armor, backstop, blank check, bless, bound,
buffer, bulwark, bumper, carte blanche, certificate of invention,
champion, cloak, compass about, condition, confine, conserve,
contain, contraceptive, cover, crash helmet, cushion, dashboard,
defend, discipline, dispensation, dodger, draw the line, ensure,
face mask, favor, fence, fend, fender, finger guard, foot guard,
franchise, freedom, fuse, goggles, governor, grant, guarantee,
guard, guardrail, hand guard, handrail, harbor, hard hat, haven,
hedge about, helmet, immunity, indulgence, insulation, insure,
interlock, keep, keep alive, keep from harm, keep intact,
keep inviolate, keep safe, keep up, knee guard, knuckle guard,
laminated glass, liberty, license, life preserver, lifeline,
lightning conductor, lightning rod, limit, maintain, make safe,
mask, moderate, mudguard, narrow, nestle, nose guard, not destroy,
not endanger, not expend, not use up, not waste, pad, padding,
palladium, patent, pilot, police, preserve, preventive, privilege,
prophylactic, protect, protective clothing, protective umbrella,
qualify, register, registered trademark, restrain, restrict,
ride shotgun for, safeguard, safety, safety glass, safety plug,
safety rail, safety shoes, safety switch, safety valve, save,
scant, screen, seat belt, secure, service mark, shelter, shield,
shin guard, shroud, spare, special favor, specialize, stint,
straiten, sun helmet, support, sustain, trade name, trademark,
umbrella, underwrite, uphold, warrant, windscreen, windshield
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
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 (a letter C in a circle), the word "Copyright"
or the abbreviation "Copr". Only the first of these is recognised
internationally and the common ASCII rendering "(C)" is not
valid anywhere. This is followed by the name of the copyright
holder and the year of publication. The year should be the year
of _first_ publication, it is not necessary as some believe to
update this every year to the current year. Copyright protection
in most countries extends for 50 years after the author's death.
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. Such use of 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.
Universal Copyright Convention
US Copyright Office (http://copyright.gov/).
Usenet newsgroup: news:misc.legal.computing.
[Is this definition correct in the UK? In the US? Anywhere?]
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
COPYRIGHT. The property which has been secured to the author of a book, map,
chart, or musical composition, print, cut or engraving, for a limited time,
by the constitution and laws of the United States. Lord Mansfield defines
copy, or as it is now termed copyright, as follows: I use the word copy in
the technical sense in which that name or term has been used for ages, to
signify an incorporeal right to the sole printing and publishing of
something intellectual, communicated by letters. 4 Burr. 3296; Merl. Repert.
2. This subject will be considered by taking a view of, 1. The
legislation of the United States. 2. Of the persons entitled to a copyright.
3. For what it is granted. 4. Nature of the right. 5. Its duration. 6.
Proceedings to obtain Such right. 7. Requisites after the grant. 8.
Remedies. 9. Former grants.
3.-1. The legislation of the United States. The Constitution of the
United States, art. 1, s. 8, gives power to congress "to promote the
progress of science, and the useful arts, by securing, for limited times, to
authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and
discoveries. In pursuance of this constitutional authority, congress passed
the act of May 31, 1790; 1 Story's L. U. S. 94, and the act of April 29,
1802, 2 Story's L. U. S. 866, but now repealed by the act of February 3,
1831, 4 Shars. Cont. of Story, 2221, saving, always such rights as may have
been obtained in conformity to their provision. By this last mentioned act,
entitled "An act to amend the several acts respecting copyrights," the
subject is now regulated.
4.-2. Of the persons entitled to a copyright. Any person or persons,
being a citizen or citizens of the United States, or resident therein, who
is the author or authors of any book or books, map, chart, or musical
composition, or who has designed, etched, engraved, worked, or caused to be
engraved, etched or worked from his own design, any print or engraving, and
the executors, administrators, or legal representatives of such person or
persons. Sect. 1, and sect. 8.
5.-3. For what work the copyright is granted. The copyright is
granted for any book or books, map, chart, or musical composition, which may
be now, (February 3, 1831, the date of the act,) made or composed, and not
printed or published, or shall hereafter be made or composed, or any print
or engraving, which the author has invented, designed, etched, engraved or
worked, or caused to be engraved, etched or worked from his own design.
6.-4. Nature of the right. The person or persons to whom a copyright
has been lawfully granted, have the sole right and liberty of printing,
reprinting, publishing and vending such book or books, map, chart, musical
composition, print, out or engraving, in whole or in part. Sect. 1.
7.-5. Duration of the copyright. The right extends for the term of
twenty-eight Years from the time of recording the title of the book, &c., in
the office of the clerk of the court, as directed by law. Sect. 1.
8. But this time may be extended by the following provisions of the
9. Sect. 2. If, at the expiration of the aforesaid term of years, such
author, inventor, designer, engraver, or any of them, where the work had
been originally composed and made by wore than one person, be still living,
and a citizen or citizens of the United States, or resident therein, or
being dead, shall have left a widow, or child, or children, either or all
then living, the same exclusive right shall be continued to such author,
designer, or engraver, or if dead, then to such widow and child, or
children, for the further term of fourteen years: Provided, that the title
of the work so secured shall be a second time recorded, and all such other
regulations as are herein required in regard to original copyrights, be
complied with in respect to such renewed copyright, and that within six
months before the expiration of the first term.
10. Sect. 3. In all cases of renewal of copyright under this act, such
author or proprietor shall, within two months from the date of, said
renewal, cause a copy of the record thereof to be published in one or more
of the newspapers printed in the United States, for the space of four weeks.
11.-Sect. 16. Whenever a copyright has been heretofore obtained by an
author or authors, inventor, designer, or engraver, of any book, map, chart,
print, cut, or engraving, or by a proprietor of the same; if such author or
authors, or either of them such inventor, designer, or engraver, be living
at the passage of this act, then, such author or authors, or the survivor of
them, such inventor, engraver, or designer, shall continue to have the same
exclusive right to his book, chart, map, print, cut or engraving, with the
benefit of each and all the provisions of this act, for the security
thereof, for such additional period of time as will, together with the tune
which shall have elapsed from the first entry of such copyright, make up the
term of twenty-eight years, with the same right to his widow, child, or
children, to renew the copyright, at the expiration thereof, as is provided
in relation to copyrights originally secured under this act. And if such
author or authors, inventor, designer, or engraver, shall not be living at
the passage of this act, then, his or their heirs, executors and
administrators, shall be entitled to the like exclusive enjoyment of said
copyright, with the benefit of each and all the provisions of this act for
the security thereof, for the period of twenty-eight years from the first
entry of said copyright with the like privilege of renewal to the widow,
child, or children, of author or authors, designer, inventor, or engraver,
as is provided in relation to copyrights originally secured under this act.
12.-6. Proceedings to obtain a copyright. No person shall be entitled
to the benefit of this act, unless he shall, before publication, deposit a
printed copy of the title of such book, or books, map, chart, musical
composition, print, out, or engraving, in the clerk's office of the district
court of the district wherein the author or proprietor shall reside, and the
clerk of such court is hereby directed and required to record the same
therein forthwith, in a book to be kept for that purpose, in the words
following (giving a copy of the title under the seal of the court, to the
said author or proprietor, whenever he shall require the same:) "District
of_____to wit: Be it remembered, that on the _____ day of ______ Anno
Domini, A. B. of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title
of a book, (map, chart, or otherwise, as the case may be,) the title of
which is in the words following, to wit; (here insert the title;) the right
whereof he claims as author (or proprietor, as the case may be in conformity
with an act of congress, entitled 'An act to amend the several acts
respecting copyrights.' C. D. clerk of the district." For which record, the
clerk shall be entitled to receive from the person claiming such right as
aforesaid, fifty cents; and the like sum for every copy, under seal,
actually given to such person or his assigns. The act to establish the
Smithsonian Institution, for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among
men, enacts, section 10, that the author or proprietor of any book, map,
chart, musical composition, print, cut, or engraving, for, which a copyright
shall be secured under the existing acts of congress, or those 'which shall
hereafter be enacted respecting copyrights, shall, within three months from
the publication of said book, etc., deliver or cause to be delivered, one
copy of the same to the librarian of the Smithsonian Institution, and one
copy to the librarian, of Congress Library, for the use of the said
13.- 7. Requisites after the grant. No person shall be entitled to the
benefit of this act, unless he shall give information of copyright being
secured, by causing to be inserted, in the several copies of each and every
edition published during the term secured, on the title page, or the page
immediately following, if it be a book, or, if a map, chart, musical
composition, print, cut, or engraving, by causing to be impressed on the
face thereof, or if a volume of maps, charts, music or engravings, upon the
title or frontispiece thereof, the following words, viz: "Entered according
to act of congress, in the year by A. B., in the clerk's office of the
district court of ___________________" (as the case may be.)
14. The author or proprietor of any such book, map, chart, musical
composition, print, cut, or engraving, shall, within three months from the
publication of said book, map, chart, musical composition, print, cut, or
engraving, deliver or cause to be delivered a copy. of the same to the clerk
of said district. And it shall be the duty of the clerk of each district
court, at least once in every year, to transmit a certified list of all such
records of copyright, including the titles so recorded, and the date of
record, and also all the several copies of books or other works deposited in
his office, according to this act, to the secretary of state, to be
preserved in his office.
15.-8. The remedies may be considered with regard, 1. To the penalties
which may be incurred. 2. The issue in actions under this act. 3. The costs.
4. The limitation.
16.-1. The penalties imposed by this act relate, first, to the
violation of the copyright of books secondly, the violation of the copyright
of prints, outs or engravings, maps, charts, or musical compositions
thirdly, the printing or publishing of any manuscripts without the consent
of the author or legal proprietor; fourthly, for inserting in any book, &c.,
that the copyright has been secured contrary to truth.
17.-First. If any other person or persons, from and after recording
the title of any book or books, according to this act, shall, within the
term or terms herein limited, print, publish, or import, or cause to be
printed, published, or imported, any copy of such book or books, without the
consent of the person legally entitled to the copyright thereof, first had
and obtained in writing, signed in presence of two or more credible
witnesses, or shall, knowing the same to be so printed or imported, publish,
sell, or expose to sale, or cause to be published, sold, or exposed to sale,
any copy of such book, without such consent in writing, then such offender
Shall forfeit every copy of such book to the person legally, at the time,
entitled to the copyright thereof and shall also forfeit and pay fifty cents
for every such sheet which may be found in his possession, either printed or
printing, published, imported, or exposed to sale, contrary for the intent
of this act; the one moiety thereof to such legal owner of the copyright as
aforesaid, and the other to the use of the United States; to be recovered by
action of debt in any court having competent jurisdiction thereof.
18.-Secondly. If any person or persons, after the recording the title
of any print, cut or engraving, map, chart, or musical composition,
according to the provisions of this act, shall, within the term or terms
limited by this act, engrave, etch, or work, sell, or Copy, or cause to be
engraved, etched, worked, or sold, or copied, either on the whole, or by
varying, adding to, or diminishing the main design, with intent to evade the
law, or shall print or import for sale, or cause to be printed or imported
for sale, any such map, chart, musical composition, print, cut, or
engraving, or any parts thereof, without the consent of the proprietor or
proprietors of the copyright thereof, first obtained in writing, signed in
the presense of two credible witnesses; or, knowing the same to be so
printed or imported, without such consent, shall publish, sell, or expose to
sale, or in any manner dispose of any such map, chart, musical composition,
engraving, cut, or print, without such consent, as foresaid; then such
offenders shall forfeit the plate or plates on which such map, chart,
musical composition, engraving, cut, or print, shall be copied, and also all
and every sheet thereof so copied or printed, as aforesaid, to the
proprietor or proprietors of the copyright thereof; and shall further
forfeit one dollar for every sheet of such map, chart, musical composition,
print, cut, or engraving, which may be found in his or their possession,
printed or published, or exposed to sale, contrary to the true intent and
meaning of this act; the one moiety thereof to the proprietor or
proprietors, and the other moiety to the use of the United States, to be
recovered in any court having competent jurisdiction thereof.
19. Nothing in this act shall be construed to extend to prohibit the
importation or vending, printing or publishing, of any map, chart, book,
musical composition, print, or engraving, written, composed, or made by any
person not being a citizen of the United States, nor resident within the
20. Thirdly. Any person or persons, who shall print or publish any
manuscript whatever, without the consent of the author or legal proprietor
first obtained as aforesaid, (if such author or proprietor be a citizen of
the United States, or resident therein,) shall be liable to suffer and pay
to the author or proprietor all damages occasioned by such injury, to be
recovered by a special action on the case founded upon this act, in any
court having cognizance thereof; and the several courts of the United States
empowered to grant injunctions to prevent the violation of the rights of
authors and inventors, are hereby empowered to grant injunctions, in like
manner, according to the principles of equity, to restrain such publication
of any manuscript, as aforesaid.
21.-Fourthly. If any person or persons, from and after the passing of
this act, shall print or publish any book, map, chart, musical composition,
print, cut, or engraving, not having legally acquired the copyright thereof,
and shall insert or impress that the same hath been entered according to act
of congress, or words purporting the same, every person so offending shall
forfeit and pay one hundred dollars; one moiety thereof to the person who
shall sue for the same, and the other to the use of the United States, to be
recovered by action of debt, in any court of record leaving cognizance
22.-2. The issue. If any person or persons shall be sued or
prosecuted, for any matter, act or thing done under or by virtue of this
act, he or they may plead the general issue, and give the special matter in
23.-3. The costs. In all recoveries under this act, either for
damages, forfeitures, or penalties, full costs shall be allowed thereon,
anything in any former act to the contrary notwithstanding.
24.-4. The limitation of actions is regulated as follows. No action or
prosecution shall be maintained in any case of forfeiture or penalty under
this act, unless the same shall have been commenced within two years after
the cause of action shall have arisen.
25.-9. Former grants. All and several the provisions of this act,
intended for the protection and security of. copyrights, and providing
remedies, penalties, and forfeitures in case of violation thereof, shall be
held and construed to extend to the benefit of the legal proprietor or
proprietors of each and every copyright heretofore obtained, according to
law, during the term thereof, in the same manner as if such copyright had
been entered and secured according to the directions of this act. And by the
16th section it is provided that this act shall not extend to any copyright
heretofore secured, the term of which has already expired.
26. Copyrights are secured in most countries of Europe. In Great
Britain, an author has a copyright in his work absolutely for twenty-eight
years, and if he be living at the end of that period, for the residue of his
life. In France, the copyright of an author extends to twenty years after
his death. In most, if not in all the German states, it is perpetual; it
extends only over the state in which it is granted. In Russia, the right of
an author or translator continues during his life, and his heirs enjoy the
privilege twenty-five years afterwards. No manuscript or printed work of an
author can be sold for his debts. 2 Am. Jur. 253, 4. Vide, generally, 2 Am.
Jur. 248; 10 Am. Jur. 62; 1 Law Intell. 66; and the articles Literary