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Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of a creative work, usually for a limited time.[1][2][3][4][5] The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyright is intended to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of a creative work, but not the idea itself.[6][7][8] A copyright is subject to limitations based on public interest considerations, such as the fair use doctrine in the United States.

Some jurisdictions require "fixing" copyrighted works in a tangible form. It is often shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work, and who are commonly referred to as rights holders.[citation needed][9][10][11][12] These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative works, distribution, public performance, and moral rights such as attribution.[13]

Copyrights can be granted by public law and are in that case considered "territorial rights". This means that copyrights granted by the law of a certain state, do not extend beyond the territory of that specific jurisdiction. Copyrights of this type vary by country; many countries, and sometimes a large group of countries, have made agreements with other countries on procedures applicable when works "cross" national borders or national rights are inconsistent.[14]

Typically, the public law duration of a copyright expires 50 to 100 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction. Some countries require certain copyright formalities[5] to establishing copyright, others recognize copyright in any completed work, without a formal registration.

It is widely believed that copyrights are a must to foster cultural diversity and creativity. However, Parc argues that contrary to prevailing beliefs, imitation and copying do not restrict cultural creativity or diversity but in fact support them further. This argument has been supported by many examples such as Millet and Van Gogh, Picasso, Manet, and Monet, etc.[15]