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Public Version of REL 161 Religion in the New Media

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A copyright is the right of an owner to their intellectual property (ideas, concepts, images, sounds, and other intangible assets).
It means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.
In legal terms, it is “the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something” (). In simple terms, it is the right to copy something. Legal repercussions, both civil and criminal, can occur if one violates copyright. Violation of copyright generally amounts to plagiarism, which is unethical. Therefore, one must be careful to abide by copyright laws and cite sources. When attempting to discern if the text you are engaging with is public domain or under copyright, from Belmont University has some very helpful insight.
A work which is “in the public domain” is not subject to copyright laws. According to Mylene Dressler, once you publish something on the internet it is considered published and is no longer eligible to be accepted by any publisher.
A patent is “the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention” () and is closely linked to copyright.
The idea of intellectual property (and thus copyright) is generally considered to be a Western concept and is closely linked to capitalism. Copyright enables the exclusive monetization of ideas and invention. Originally intended to bolster creativity and advancement, copyrights and patents may actually hinder progress due to the limitations they pose to those who cannot afford to pay the fees to use existing technologies. This is particularly troublesome because any “new” invention can be broken down into existing inventions at some level. Creativity is the remix of that which already exists.

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