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Understanding the Business of Entertainment by Gregory Bernstein

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Chapter 1Copyright Law

Introduction

What is copyright? It’s a set of laws that give authors of certain kinds of creative works the right to exclusively own and control their work for a period of time. Copyright actually gives authors several rights, and we’ll discuss them later in this chapter, but for now what’s important to know is that copyright gives authors and other creators the sole right to exploit the copyrighted work.

Any person or company that spends time and money creating something valuable wants to legally own that thing, whether what’s created is a movie, video game, electric car or disposable diaper. As we’ll see, copyright law grants ownership rights to only certain kinds of “things”—generally speaking, artistic and cultural ...

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