Home : Technical Terms : Copyright Definition


Copyright is a legal means of protecting an author's work. It is a type of intellectual property that provides exclusive publication, distribution, and usage rights for the author. This means whatever content the author created cannot be used or published by anyone else without the consent of the author. The length of copyright protection may vary from country to country, but it usually lasts for the life of the author plus 50 to 100 years.

Many different types of content can be protected by copyright. Examples include books, poems, plays, songs, films, and artwork. In modern times, copyright protection has been extended to websites and other online content. Therefore, any original content published on the Web is protected by copyright law. This is important in the digital age we live in, since large amounts of content can be easily copied and pasted.

So how do you obtain copyright protection? Fortunately, in most countries, copyright protection is automatic. This means whenever you publish original content, it is automatically protected by copyright law. For example, if you post a blog on the Internet, your content is automatically covered by copyright. In most cases, this type of copyright protection is all that is necessary. However, if you want others to know your content is copyright protected, you can post the copyright logo (©) next to your name on any Web pages that include your original content. You may also want to include the years you have owned the content. Below is an example of a copyright line:

Copyright © 2007-2009 [your name].

In situations where it is critical to protect an author's rights, many countries provide copyright registration, which allows authors to register copyrighted content with a central agency. This makes it easier to prove ownership of content if it is ever disputed.

Copyright provides a helpful means of protecting original content. It serves to give people credit for the work they do, which is something we can all appreciate. Therefore, if you ever consider copying someone else's content, think of how it would make you feel if someone copied your original work and published it as their own. If you ever would like to use another person's content, make sure to ask the author for permission first. And always give credit where credit is due.

Updated: September 8, 2009

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definition of Copyright. It explains in computing terminology what Copyright means and is one of many technical terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this Copyright definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!

Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe at any time.
Questions? Please contact us.