Copyright refers to the rights given to an artist, writer, or other kind of creator over the original work she has produced.
Such rights include distribution or sale, adaptation, and licensing, among others. The author also has the option to transfer rights to another person or entity.
Copyright is considered as part of intellectual property and more generally, under intangible property. It affirms the concept of intangible property, which could be the ideas that went into the completion of a book, or the combination of factors encapsulated in a piece of music.
After a certain period, usually 150 years after the creator’s death, a copyrighted work can be considered part of public domain.
Initially, only books were placed under the control of copyrights. This has since expanded to cover pieces of music, photos, paintings and other forms of visual art, and nearly all creative output.
The Berne Convention or the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was initially instituted in 1886. Its main objective was to establish basic protection for artists and scientists, and their output. Member states have the option to add protective measures for the benefit of creators and copyright owners, as long as the basic principles and regulations have been set in place. More regulations on copyright have been established in other territories since then.
Infringement of copyright covers unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works. When the violation involves electronic material, it is referred to as piracy. This can involve the unauthorized reproduction of audio CDs, VCDs, and DVDs, as well as unauthorized file sharing and distribution via Internet.