About copyright

Philosophy of copyright
Idea-expression divide

Intellectual Property (IP)

Copyright • History • Moral rights
Authors' rights • Attribution
Related rights • Enforcement
Registration • Royalties
Collecting • Orphan works
Public Lending Right
Copyright myths
Copyright term
Perpetual copyright
Rule of the shorter term

Copyright legislation

Copyright term by country
International copyright agreements
Berne Convention
Australia • Canada
United Kingdom • UK (1911)
United States • DMCA

Limitations and exceptions

Traditional knowledge
Public domain • Copyfraud
Fair use • Fair dealing
First-sale doctrine
Against perpetual copyright
Criticism of IP • Anti-copyright
Copyleft • Free Art License
Creative Commons


Copyright infringement
Counterfeiting • Plagiarism
Derivative work
Cento • Found poetry • Glosa
Erasure poetry • Cut-up technique
Flarf • Spoetry • Epigraph
Pastiche • Parody • Allusion
Best practice in fair use for poetry

More IP topics ...
This box: view · talk · edit
Copying is the duplication of information or an artifact based only on an instance of that information or artifact, and not using the process that originally generated it.

Definition Edit

Copy (copy) n.(kp") Cop"y; pl. Copies (-***ibreve]z). [F. copie, fr. L. copia abundance, number, LL. also, a transcript; co- + the root of opes riches. See Opulent, and cf. Copious.]

  1. An abundance or plenty of anything. [Obs.] "She was blessed with no more copy of wit, but to serve his humor thus." B. Jonson.
  2. An imitation, transcript, or reproduction of an original work; as, a copy of a letter, an engraving, a painting, or a statue. "I have not the vanity to think my copy equal to the original." Denham.
  3. An individual book, or a single set of books containing the works of an author; as, a copy of the Bible; a copy of the works of Addison.
  4. That which is to be imitated, transcribed, or reproduced; a pattern, model, or example; as, his virtues are an excellent copy for imitation. "Let him first learn to write, after a copy, all the letters. Holder.
  5. Manuscript or printed matter to be set up in type; as, the printers are calling for more copy.
  6. A writing paper of a particular size. Same as Bastard. See under Paper.
  7. Copyhold; tenure; lease. [Obs.] Shak.
  8. Copy book, a book in which copies are written or printed for learners to imitate. --
  9. Examined copies (Law), those which have been compared with the originals. --
  10. Exemplified copies, those which are attested under seal of a court. --
  11. Certified or Office copies, those which are made or attested by officers having charge of the originals, and authorized to give copies officially. Abbot.

Copy (copy) v.t. Cop"y [imp. *** p. p. Copied (?)] p. pr. *** vb. n. Copying.] [Cf. F. copir, fr. LL. copiare. See Copy, n.]

  1. To make a copy or copies of.
  2. to write; print, engrave, or paint after an original; to duplicate; to reproduce; to transcribe; as, to copy a manuscript, inscription, design, painting, etc.; -- often with out, sometimes with off. "I like the work well; ere it be demanded (As like enough it will), I'd have it copied." Shak. "Let this be copied out, And keep it safe for our remembrance." Shak.
  3. To imitate; to attempt to resemble, as in manners or course of life. "We copy instinctively the voices of our companions, their accents, and their modes of pronunciation." Stewart.

Copy (copy) v.i. Cop"y

  1. To make a copy or copies; to imitate.
  2. To yield a duplicate or transcript; as, the letter did not copy well. "Some ... never fail, when they copy, to follow the bad as well as the good things." Dryden.[1]

Electronic copyingEdit

With analog forms of information, copying is only possible to a limited degree of accuracy, which depends on the quality of the equipment used and the skill of the operator. There is some inevitable deterioration and accumulation of "noise" (random small changes, not sound) from original to copy; when successive generations of copy are made, this deterioration accumulates with each generation. With digital forms of information, copying is perfect. Copy and paste is frequently used for information a computer user selects and copies to an area he or she wishes.

Most high-accuracy copying techniques use the principle that there will be only one type of possible interpretation for each reading of data, and only one possible way to write an interpretation of dataTemplate:Clarify.

In office workEdit

Offices need more than one copy of a document in a number of situations. They usually need a copy of outgoing correspondence for their records. Sometimes they want to circulate copies of documents they create to several interested parties.

Until the late 18th century, if an office wanted to keep a copy of an outgoing letter, a clerk had to write out the copy by hand. This technology continued to be prevalent through most of the nineteenth century. For this purpose offices employed copy clerks, also known as copyists, scribes, and scriveners.

A few alternatives to hand copying were invented between the mid-17th century and the late 18th century, but none had a significant impact in offices. In 1780 James Watt obtained a patent for letter copying presses, which James Watt & Co. produced beginning in that year. Letter copying presses were used by the early 1780s by the likes of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. In 1785, Jefferson was using both stationary and portable presses made by James Watt & Co.

During XIX century a host of competing technologies were introduced to meet office copying needs. The technologies that were most commonly used in 1895 are identified in an 1895 description of the New York Business College's course program: "All important letters or documents are copied in a letter-book or carbon copies [are] made, and instruction is also given in the use of the mimeograph and other labor-saving office devices." [2]

In art and literatureEdit

Template:Expand section

In literatureEdit

Prior to the invention of the printing press, the only way to obtain a copy of a book was to copy it out by hand. Throughout the Middle Ages, monks copied entire texts as a way of disseminating and preserving religious texts.

In artEdit

In visual art, copying the works of the masters is a standard way that students learn to paint.

Biological copyingEdit

Main article: DNA replication

Organically, copying of genetic information can take place using DNA replication, which is able to copy and replicate the data with a high degree of accuracy, but mistakes are common, and occur in the form of mutations. However, in the process of DNA repair, many of the mistakes are resolved by checking the copied data against the original data.

Digital copyingEdit

This principle is applied digitally, such as in hard disks, but in a different form. The magnetised data on the disk consists of 1's and 0's. Unlike DNA, it only has two types of information, rather than four types, however, it still has a polar concept of transfer. In this case, the read-write head acts as an intermediary. A data section reading "1", can only trigger one type of response, and "0" for the other. These responses from reading are converted into an electrical form that gets carried through the circuits. Although this can be later converted and processed for other ways of using the data, which can be modified, if a file were being copied from one hard disk to another, the principle ensures that the data is transferred with high fidelity, because only each type of signal can only trigger one type of data write, in this case a 1 or a 0. This excludes exceptions where the data was written incorrectly or the existing data has been corrupted while on the disk such that no distinction can be made, but usually the hard disk returns the area as unreadable. The other concept that using digital copying is website copy[1], digital copying has more interpretation than just the basic concept of disk read and write itself. Digital Copy is a sample of interpretation of digital copying.

Copying rightsEdit

Main article: Copyright

The concept of copying has a particular significance in certain areas of law. In each of the primary areas of intellectual property law, a number of cases have refined the question of what exactly constitutes the kind of copying prohibited by law, especially in areas such as copyright law.

A related concept is plagiarism, copying others' work and passing it off as one's own.


  1. Copy," Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1913,, Web, July 15, 2011.
  2. Antique Copying Machines

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. (view article). (view authors).
This page uses content from Wikinfo . The original article was at Wikinfo:Copying.
The list of authors can be seen in the (view authors). page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.