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What is copyright?

Intellectual property rights

Copyright is the English term for the Dutch term 'auteursrecht'. Although 'auteursrecht' is almost always translated as copyright, this translation is not entirely correct. There is a nuance between these two terms because they refer to two legal systems with different foundations.

'Auteursrecht' is a direct translation of the French 'droit d'auteur'. Its literal English translation is 'authors' rights'. These rights protect the author as a natural person. Under copyright law, the author has so-called moral rights, which in most cases are inalienable. Copyright focuses far more on protecting the investment in a work. The moral rights are missing in this system.

The copyright regime prevails in Anglosphere, which includes countries such as the United States, Great Britain and Australia. Authors' rights can be found in the countries of continental Europe and their former colonies.