What is copyright?


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It is the right of the creator of a work embodying intellectual property to control the use and exploitation, or management, of that work. The right of copyright is limited in duration as we shall see below, but while it subsists it gives its owner what Dr Owen Dean has called a ‘qualified monopoly’. Simply put, copyright includes the right to protect one’s intellectual property from unauthorised usage.

To explain ‘intangible’: a book is a physical object, but embodied in it is something intangible, the ideas of the author as expressed in the words on the page. The expression of these ideas is what the author owns, and has a right to protect.