2.1 Copyright and Mass Media (Nutshell)

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Copyright law grants an author the exclusive right to copy his work, but only for a limited period of time. During that time nobody else is permitted to copy an author's book, image, film, etc. and nobody is allowed to use it to create new stuff. However thereafter, the original work passes into the public domain and everyone is free to use it for any purpose. The 20th century was the century of the mass media which tend to produce capital-intensive industrial productions for an audience as large as possible. They started lobbying politicians and copyright got extended over and over again and our culture becomes increasingly property of a few companies.