Copyright is an intellectual property right, that entitles the owners of literary and artistic works to a set of exclusive rights over their works. These rights, generally, include:

- copying;

- translating;

- adapting and altering;

- communicating and performing to the public;

- distributing;

- renting and lending copies.

Copyright grants two kinds of prerogatives:

- economic rights;

- moral rights;

So-called "economic rights" enable right holders to control (license) the use of their works, and be remunerated for their use. These rights normally take the form of exclusive rights and include the right to reproduce and publish the work.

The author of a copyrighted work also has the right to claim authorship, as well as the right to object to a distortion and mutilation of the work that may be detrimental to his honour or reputation. These rights are generally known as moral rights. Moral rights may also include the right to decide on when or whether to make the work public, the right to claim authorship of the work and the right to object to any derogatory action in relation to the work. Moral rights are not harmonised at EU level.