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However, with copyright laws, intellectual production comes to be seen as a product of an individual, with attendant rights.The most significant point is that patent and copyright laws support the expansion of the range of creative human activities that can be commodified.In the Middle Ages in Europe, there was generally a lack of any concept of literary property due to the general relations of production, the specific organization of literary production and the role of culture in society.The latter refers to the tendency of oral societies, such as that of Europe in the medieval period, to view knowledge as the product and expression of the collective, rather than to see it as individual property.
Copyright has grown from a legal concept regulating copying rights in the publishing of books and maps to one with a significant effect on nearly every modern industry, covering such items as sound recordings, films, photographs, software, and architectural works.
As soon as a work is "fixed", that is, written or recorded on some physical medium, its author is automatically entitled to all copyrights in the work, and to any derivative works unless and until the author explicitly disclaims them, or until the copyright expires.
The Berne Convention also resulted in foreign authors being treated equivalently to domestic authors, in any country signed onto the Convention.
Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use.
A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.
Simultaneously, businesses with great economic dependence upon copyright, such as those in the music business, have advocated the extension and expansion of copyright and sought additional legal and technological enforcement.