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Fundamentals of Copyright Law

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Today, nearly three hundred years after the Statute of Anne passed into law, the same fundamental tenets of copyright remain and the rights of an author prevail as an essential impetus to create new works. Indeed, copyright has been expanded frequently and greatly since 1710 to comprehend emerging technologies, to protect innovative forms of creative works of all kinds, and to protect the author's entitled monopoly.

Copyright has also been expanded to protect software, which is yet another (albeit rather unique) form of authorship. As it does for a novelist, painter, and musician, copyright extends certain exclusive rights to the creator of a software program. (Copyright is often referred to as a "negative right," because it restricts what others can do with the work.)

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