Primary tabs

A copy means an imitation or reproduction or duplicate of an original. Some common usesof the term “copy” in a legal sense include:

  • In the context of copyright law, cases such as this one from the Ninth Circuit, explain that “copy” for purposes of Copyright Act “must consist of some tangible material object on which the work is ‘fixed,’ which requires that the material object must, in some manner, take on the physical aspects of the protected work such that the “copy” of the work may be perceived by an observer. However, the fact that infringing copy may be produced in a medium different from that of the protected work is not, in itself, a bar to recovery.”
  • In the law of evidence, a copy is generally admissible to prove the contents in writing. Rule 1003 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, states that “a duplicate is admissible to the same extent as the original unless a genuine question is raised about the original’s authenticity or the circumstances make it unfair to admit the duplicate.”

[Last updated in March of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]