Crash course on copyrights

When someone creates an artistic or literary work, he automatically receives the exclusive right to publish and reproduce it: the copyright. These rights go pretty far. There is no restriction on the fields in which publishing or reproduction is forbidden. Even copies made by private individuals are covered. Copyright also has the longest duration of protection: the life of the author plus seventy years. Despite this long duration and the fairly broad exclusive rights, the creator of a work does not have to do anything to receive these rights.

While the rights granted by copyright do cover most uses of a copyrighted work, there are some limitations on these rights. The most important ones are the right to "fair use", and to cite from the work. And of course, once a specimen of a work is sold, the buyer of the work is free to use that specimen however he sees fit.

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