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Definition of 'Copyright'

A copyright is a legal right that protects the original expression of an idea in a fixed form. This means that the copyright holder has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, and create derivative works of the copyrighted work. Copyrights are typically granted for a period of 70 years after the death of the author.

There are a number of exceptions to copyright law. For example, fair use allows for the limited use of copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

Copyright is an important tool for protecting intellectual property and encouraging creativity. It allows creators to profit from their work and to prevent others from profiting from their work without their permission. However, copyright law can also be used to stifle creativity and innovation. For example, copyright holders can use their copyrights to prevent others from creating derivative works that build on their work.

The debate over copyright law is a complex one. There are a number of competing interests at stake, including the rights of creators, the rights of users, and the public interest. There is no easy answer to the question of how to best balance these interests.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

* [The Copyright Office](
* [The U.S. Copyright Act](
* [The Berne Convention](

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