By Tali Kottler

What is Copyright?

A copyright is a collection of rights granted to the creator of a piece of work. This work can include: music, software, books, movies, etc. If you own the copyright, the rights include the rights to sell, alter, lease, or lend you work to others. When work is created in any tangible form, it is automatically copyrighted. To use copyrighted work, you need permission called a license.


Public Domain

Work isn't protected under copyright because:

  • copyright has expired
  • It was created using public money
  • The creator donated it to the public domain.

For example: Classic literature is public domain because the copyright has expired.

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Copyrighted work that is free for you to copy, use, or give away.

For example: iTunes is free for people to use.

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Copyrighted work that is free for you to copy or use for a limited time.

For example: Some apps in the App Store have a Lite version so you can try them out before you buy the full version.

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All Rights Reserved

A license that allows purchaser to use software according to details in the license agreement.

For example: Most software you can get at Best Buy or similar stores in All Rights Reserved.

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Open Source

Software that includes the source code with the idea that someone can improve it.

For example: Google Chrome can be changed and updated by anyone.